Before you claim please check whether you are in a Universal Credit Full Service area. The only people in a full service area that can claim Housing Benefit are:
- Those that are state pension age
- Those that have 3 or more children
- Those in specified accommodation
If you are in a full service area you will claim Universal Credit if:
- you’re aged 18 or over
- you’re under state pension credit age
- you’re on a low income or unemployed
- you have savings of less than £16,000
- you’re not in full time education or training
Calculating your benefit
The amount of benefit you receive will depend on many things, for example:
- How many children you have
- Whether you have a partner
- How much income and savings you and your partner have
- If anyone in your household is disabled
- Whether your rent includes fuel bills, meals or water charges
- How much rent you pay
- How much Council Tax you pay
This is a minimum amount that the Government says you and your family need to live on each week. It is calculated by awarding set amounts for you, your partner and any dependant children. Extra amounts are awarded if you are pension age, receiving certain disability allowances etc.
We will then assess how much weekly income you and family have from earnings, benefits, tax credits, pensions, grants, income from boarders or lodgers and any other income you have.
Savings and capital
You must have savings of less than £16,000 in order to claim Housing and Council Tax Support. (This limit does not apply if you are receiving Guarantee Pension Credits)
Savings and capital includes any money in bank accounts, building societies, savings accounts, ISA’s, bonds, shares, property, etc. You must provide proof of all savings and capital that you have.
We will assess your ‘tariff income’ from any savings and capital you have. ‘Tariff income’ is an amount of weekly income that we will add to your assessment. For every £250 (or £500 if you are pension age) that you have over £6,000 (or £10,000, if you are pension age) an extra £1 of ‘tariff income’ will be used.
Rent and Council Tax taper
We will deduct your weekly income from your applicable amount. From the amount that is left you must pay 65 per cent to your rent and 30 per cent to your Council Tax if you working age unprotected, or 20% if you are pension age and protected. For Council Tax purposes, if you are Working age non-protected you will be required to pay a minimum of 10% of your Council Tax liability regardless of your income.
Any remainder is the amount of Housing Benefit that we can pay after before any non-dependant deductions have been taken.
A non-dependant is someone who normally lives with you on a non-commercial basis, usually adult children or relatives. If you have a non-dependant living with you then we will make a deduction from your Housing and Council Tax Support. The amount we will deduct depends on their gross income.
You can apply for Housing Benefit and/or Council Tax Support online.