Housing Benefit Rules
No non-dependant deduction will be made if you or your partner are registered blind, or getting a care component of Disability Living Allowance or a daily living component of Personal Independence Payment or Attendance Allowance, or Armed Forces Independence Payment. This is regardless of how many non-dependants you have living with you and regardless of their income.
If this does not apply to you, then the amount of non-dependant deduction taken off your Housing Benefit will depends on their circumstances, and, if they are working, their gross weekly income.
No non-dependant deduction should be taken from your Housing Benefit award where the non-dependant is:
- Only staying with you temporarily i.e. your home is not their normal home.
- A full time student, any age (except when they’re working 16 or more hours a week during the summer holidays).
- Under 25 and on Income-Based Jobseekers Allowance (even if this has been sanctioned).
- Under 25 and on Income Support.
- Under 25 and getting Income-Related Employment Support Allowance with no ‘component’ – this could be either because they are still in the first few months of claiming (the ‘assessment phase’) or because they are getting Employment and Support Allowance paid while appealing against a decision that they are fit for work.
- Under 25 and on Universal Credit, as long as they have no earnings.
- In the Armed Forces and away on operations.
- In prison, either on remand or sentenced.
- Getting Pension Credit. (So if they are Pension Credit age and not getting Pension Credit they should see if they are entitled - ring 0800 99 1234).
If the non-dependant is working 16 hours or more a week the amount of the non-dependant deduction - ie how much your Housing Benefit is reduced by - depends on their gross weekly income as shown in the table below.
NOTE: if they are currently off work sick or on maternity leave then the non-dependant deduction, regardless of their gross wage will be £14.65 a week (for a 52 week rent year). Your local council won’t know if your non-dependant starts work so make sure you tell them, otherwise you could end up with an overpayment bill.
Non-dependant aged 18 or over working 16 hours or more a week 2016/17 rates (from 11 April 2016):
|Gross Income||Weekly deduction from Housing Benefit - based on a 52 week rent year|
|£420.00 or more|
£338.00 - £419.99
£253.00 - £337.99
£195.00 - £25299
£133.00 - £194.99
Less than £133.00
For all other non-dependants a deduction of £14.65 a week (from 11 April 2016) is taken from your Housing Benefit award.
If a deduction is being taken when it shouldn’t, or is being taken at the wrong rate, you could quickly find yourself struggling to pay your rent. It is very important to ensure that you provide your non-dependant details to the local council so that they apply the right rate.
If you are getting Universal Credit and have a non-dependant living with you, the rules are different, and the deductions are called ‘housing costs contributions’. Non-dependant deductions (housing costs contributions) from Universal Credit. Regardless of the non-dependent’s income, the housing cost contribution taken from your Universal Credit award is £69.37 a month per non-dependant (from 11 April 2016). If you have more than one non-dependant living with you then £69.37 is taken for each, even if they are a couple. But in some circumstances nothing should be taken. But in some circumstances nothing should be taken.
No housing cost contribution should be taken from your Universal Credit award where the non-dependant is:
- Only staying with you temporarily i.e. your home is not their normal home
- Under 21 (regardless of their circumstances)
- On Pension Credit
- On the care component of Disability Living Allowance (DLA) at the mid or high rate
- On Attendance Allowance
- On the daily living component of Personal Independence Payment
- On Armed Forces Independence Payment
- On Carers Allowance
- A prisoner, whether on remand or sentenced
- Responsible for a child under 5
- A non-dependant son, daughter, step-son or step-daughter who is temporarily away from home because they are currently on operations with the Armed Forces.
No housing cost contribution should be taken from your Universal Credit award where you (the tenant) or your partner is:
- Blind or registered as blind
- On Disability Living Allowance care component at high or mid rate
- On Attendance Allowance
- On Personal Independence Payment daily living component.
If the person who lives with you is classed as a lodger rather than a non-dependent - i.e. because they pay rent to you on a commercial basis and are not a close relative- then the rules for lodgers are different under Universal Credit. A lodger does not count towards a bedroom for Bedroom Tax purposes under Universal Credit, but none of the money they pay you for renting the room is taken into account when working out how much Universal Credit you get.
The rules on non-dependant deductions vary from council to council so you will need to contact your local council for information on how having a non-dependant living with you affects your Council Tax Support.
You need to contact your local council and give them as much detail as you can about your son’s income and situation. If all you can tell them is what sort of job your son is doing and whether it is full or part-time, then the local council should use this information to apply a lower rate if that is more likely. Give all the information you can to the local council, including why you can’t supply everything they are asking for.
If the local council won’t change the rate, ask us for more advice – we have a template letter you can use.
You could ask your non-dependant to contact the local council themselves. Explain how much more rent you are having to pay and the difficult position this puts you in. If you can’t pay your rent, you AND they could lose their home!!
There should be no deduction taken in respect of someone who is only staying with you temporarily. Provide the local council with as much information and evidence as you can, to show that they hadn’t intended to make your house their home. If WBC decide not to take off the non-dependant deduction contact us – we may be able to help.
If someone is working less than 16 hours a week the lowest rate deduction from Housing Benefit should apply. If a higher deduction than this is being made, provide evidence of your daughter’s hours of work to the local council.
If your husband is registered blind or getting Attendance Allowance, a care component of Disability Living Allowance, a daily living component of Personal Independence Payment or Armed Forces Independence Payment then no non-dependant deduction should be taken from your Housing Benefit. If he is not on one of these benefits a non-dependant deduction may be taken based on your nephew’s circumstances. If you think you or your partner might be entitled to one of these benefits then apply as soon as possible – contact an experienced adviser to help you make the claim.
WBC can remove the non-dependant deduction even where you have no forwarding address for her, if you explain why you are unable to provide this. You could give them her National Insurance number and ask them to check on their ‘CIS’ system, to see if she is now claiming a benefit from another address. If they can tell from this that she is not living with you then they should remove the deduction. If this doesn’t help, you can appeal their decision. An appeal tribunal has to decide on the balance of probabilities whether they believe that your non-dependant is still living with you. The more information you can provide, the more likely they are to believe you.
If the person living with you is a close relative* for whom you do not receive Child Benefit, then they will be classed as a non-dependant even if you regard them as a lodger.
To be classed as a lodger the person living with you must not be a close relative*, and must be paying you for accommodation and/or meals ('board') on a commercial basis. The local council (or DWP if you are on Universal Credit) will want to see some proof of the commercial basis of the arrangement to be convinced they are a lodger- such as a rent book and/or tenancy agreement. It is unlikely they will accept a person as a lodger if they were previously classed as a non-dependant.
Under Housing Benefit rules, any money over £20 per week which the lodger pays you for their accommodation can affect your benefit entitlements. If you are getting Universal Credit, none of the money you receive from them is taken into account – but they are not allocated a bedroom under the Universal Credit Bedroom Tax rules.
*Close relative means parent, parent-in-law, son, son-in-law, daughter, daughter-in-law, step-parent, step-son, step-daughter, brother, sister or the spouse or partner of any of these people.
There is no deduction from your Universal Credit for a non-dependant who is the primary carer of a child under 5.
There will be a deduction for each of them – the rate from 11 April 2016 is £69.37 a month each – so you will lose £138.74 per month.