Housing Benefit

IMPORTANT: Universal Credit (UC) will eventually replace Housing Benefit - please see our section on UC.

From April 2013 Housing Benefit paid to you will be paid in relation to the number of bedrooms the Government deem appropriate for the size of your family (please click on Under Occupancy Charge (Bedroom Tax) tab for further details)

From October 2013 if you are a new Universal Credit claimant or depending on when your existing benefit claim ‘migrates’ to Universal Credit – your Housing Benefit will be paid directly to you as part of your Universal Credit award. This means YOU will be responsible for using this money to pay your monthly rent charge and service charge/s.

For most of our tenants who receive Housing Benefit, this will be a change to how your rent (or at least part of your rent) is normally paid. It is therefore important you are aware of the different methods you can use to pay your rent. This is something we will be happy to discuss with you – please contact your area housing manager or Hastoe Hub on 0300 123 2250.

 Non Dependant Deductions (NDD)

In the meantime it is worth pointing out your Housing Benefit levels will be reduced if you have other adults living with you. These people are known as non-dependants. They are assumed to be contributing towards the rent. The amounts, which are set down by law, are to increase significantly over the next few years. If a non-dependant adult lives in your home and doesn't work, your housing benefit is reduced by £15.25 each week if they are:

  • aged 18 or over and not in paid work
  • aged 25 and over and on IS or income-based JSA
  • any age and getting income related ESA after passing the work capability assessment

If these adults work, the money deducted from your benefit is much higher. Now may be a good time to talk to people living with you to discuss what they pay you to help with the cost of running your home. Click here to see the current NDD rates.

To find out more about Housing Benefit, including how to apply, follow this link.

 Discretionary Housing Payment (DHP)

If your Housing Benefit does not cover all of your rent and you need more help, as long as you are entitled to some Housing Benefit you can ask the local authority for a discretionary housing payment. This is an extra payment (not Housing Benefit) which you can get if you need further financial assistance with your housing costs. It is up to the local authority whether to give you this help, so you should give them as much information as possible. Ask at your local Citizens Advice for more information and how to apply or please click on this link.

 How to protect your Housing Benefit

If you are worried that any benefit paid into your account will be used by the bank to reduce or clear your overdraft / bank charges leaving you no money to pay your rent, you can ask your bank to only use that money for your rent.  This is called the ‘First right of appropriation’.  Please click on this link for further information.

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