Housing Benefit and the “Bedroom Tax”

If you’re on a low income and need financial help to pay all or part of your rent, you may qualify for Housing Benefit.    To make a claim for Housing Benefit you’ll need to get a form from your local council. They will also be able to help you fill it out.

Let us know if your Housing Benefit stops

If your Housing Benefit stops at any time, let us know right away.   Call us on 0300 456 2929 and choose option 2.  You should also speak with your local authority Housing Benefit department immediately as well.

More about Housing Benefit

Bedroom Tax

The Bedroom Tax is a reduction on the amount of Housing Benefit your receive.  Your Housing Benefit is affected if you live in a housing association or council home with what is considered to have one (or more)  spare bedrooms.

How much is the bedroom tax?

  • 14% per week if you have one extra bedroom
  • 25% per week if you have two or more spare bedrooms.

How many bedrooms am I allowed?

  • 1 bedroom for you and your partner
  • 1 bedroom for two children under 10 (regardless of gender)
  • 1 bedroom for two children under 16 of the same gender
  • 1 extra bedroom if you or your partner are disabled and require an overnight carer:
    • A disabled dependent child or other disabled person living in the household requires, and receives, overnight care from a non-resident carer (or group of carers) on a regular basis, and
    • A spare bedroom is available for the carer (or team of carers) and an extra bedroom has not already been provided for a non-resident overnight carer (or team of carers) in the same household – ie for another disabled person, and
    • The disabled child or other disabled person must be in receipt of:
      • Middle or high rate care component of Disability Living Allowance, or
      • Daily living component Personal Independence Payment, or
      • Attendance Allowance, or
      • Armed Forces Independence Payment

More about the Bedroom Tax

Unable to pay the bedroom tax?  Could you move into a smaller home?

There are two main ways to do this:

Mutual Exchange

You can swap homes with any council tenant or housing association tenant in the UK. This is called a mutual exchange (sometimes a MEX).

More about mutual exchanges

Downsizing

Downsizing is when you opt to move into an available smaller home than your current one.  Unlike a mutual exchange, there is no other tenant involved.

More about downsizing

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