How is my benefit calculated?
Anyone who has to pay Rent or Council Tax can claim
- You can claim Housing Benefit even if you are working
- You don’t need to have made any National Insurance contributions
- You can still claim Housing Benefit even if you are not getting any other benefits
The amount of Housing Benefit and Council Tax Reduction you will receive depends on:
- Your income – the money you and your partner (if you have one) have coming into your household
- We also need to know about savings or investments you have
- Your age and the age of any other family members who live with you
- Whether you have anyone else living in your home, for example dependent children, a lodger or a member of your family who is 18 or over
- The level of rent you are charged. If you are a Council Tenant we will have these details. If you are a private tenant you must provide proof of your rent charge
Once we have a completed application form we can work out how much benefit you are due. To help us do this the Government has set out how much it thinks people need to live on. These figures are called allowances and we cannot change them. You may also get additional premiums if you fall into one of the special needs categories. We compare the amount of money you have with these amounts to work out how much benefit you may receive.
You may get more Housing Benefit and Council Tax Reduction if you:
- are disabled
- have children
- are elderly
- care for people who get certain kinds of benefits
What does the law count as income and capital?
To work out your Housing Benefit and Council Tax Reduction entitlement we will look at:
- The money that you and your partner have coming in, including earnings, some benefits and tax credits and things like occupational pension
- The capital that you and your partner may have (e.g. bank and building society accounts, investments, cash and property etc)
- Your circumstances, such as your age and the size of family you have and the ages of your children, whether there is anyone who lives with you who could help with the rent
If you get income related Employment and Support Allowance, Income Support or income based Jobseeker’s Allowance, we will not need any details about your income as we have access to the Department for Work and Pension records. For everything else, we need to know the exact details about any income you or your partner get. When you claim you will need to provide proof of all your income.
When we work out your benefit we use your gross earnings less tax, National Insurance and half of any pension contributions you make.
Many people have adult family and friends living with them. The rules set by the Government say that anyone who is living with you gives you money towards your rent, even if they do not. For benefit purposes these people are called non-dependants. This means that we must take away a set amount from your Housing Benefit and Council Tax Reduction depending on the dependant’s income.