Making homes, helping people. AmicusHorizon. Universal Credit. From October 2013, the Government will introduce ‘Universal Credit’ for people of working age. What’s ‘Universal Credit’?
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From April 2013, the Government will reduce housing benefit for people of ‘working age’ with spare bedrooms in their homes.
What does ‘spare’ bedroom (under-occupying) mean?
It’s having more bedrooms than the Government says are necessary. If you receive housing benefit and have a spare room, you’ll lose some housing benefit.
The new rules allow one bedroom for:
A person who is 16 or older
Two children (same gender) until their 16th birthday
Two children (any gender) until their 10th birthday
Any other child
Householder (or partner) needs overnight care
You’re not allowed an extra room if:
Couples sleep apart because of a medical condition
Children come to stay at weekends
You care for foster children
How much will I lose?
14% of housing benefit if you’ve one bedroom more than you need
25% if you’ve two (or more) bedrooms than you need
If you’re a single person or a couple living in a 2-bedroom home, you’re under-occupying.
If you’re a single person (or a couple) with one child living in a 3-bedroom home, you’re under-occupying.
What can I do?
Move to a smaller home. Apply for a transfer or mutual exchange
Take in a non-dependant (e.g. a grown up son or daughter)
Apply for a discretionary housing payment
Finding a job completely changes your ability to pay rent
Look closely at your financial budget.
Remember we’re help to help.
In April 2011, the Government started to increase the amount non-dependants pay towards rent. This applies to people on housing benefit with anyone living with them over the age of 18 (other than their partner).
What’s a non-dependant?
People who share your home (but don’t depend on you for financial support) are known as ‘non-dependants’ – e.g. grown up sons or daughters, relatives or friends.
Non dependants aren’t able to claim Housing Benefit for any payments they make for their keep.
Will it affect me?
If a non-dependant shares your home, it may well affect the amount of Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit you get.
How will it affect my Housing Benefit/ Council Tax Benefit?
Deductions are made from your Housing Benefit/Council Tax
Benefit for non-dependants aged over 18 who normally live with you. There are different levels of deduction (we can explain these to you).
If the non-dependant works fewer than 16 hours a week, the lowest deduction applies. If the non-dependant does paid work (for 16 hours or more a week), the deduction depends on their income.
What can you do?
Make sure the non-dependant pays towards the household bills. Explain what could happen if they don’t pay towards the household e.g. rent arrears, legal action
Look closely at your household budget
Apply for a discretionary housing payment.