Working age claimants in social housing

The amount of Housing Benefit you can receive depends on the number of people in your household and the size of your accommodation.

How many bedrooms you are allowed

You are allowed one bedroom for:

  • each adult couple (married or unmarried)
  • any other person aged 16 or over
  • two children of the same gender under the age of 16
  • two children under 10 (regardless of gender)
  • any other child (excluding foster children or children who have a main home elsewhere)
  • a carer (who does not live with you) if anyone in your household needs overnight care on a regular basis.

Couples or children who cannot share a bedroom because they are disabled may be allowed a bedroom of their own, provided they receive the middle or higher rate of Disability Living Allowance and there is a clear medical need.

How your benefit could be affected

If you have one spare bedroom, the rent used to calculate your benefit will be cut by 14 per cent. For two or more spare bedrooms it will be cut by 25 per cent.

If there are joint tenants in your property, the reduction will be apportioned equally between you.

Exemptions

You will not be affected if:

  • you or your partner are of pension credit age. You can check to see the date when you will reach pension credit age on the Government website
  • you live in a shared ownership property i.e. people who own a share of their home and pay rent on the remaining share
  • you live in a caravan, mobile home or houseboat
  • you live in certain types of supported accommodation
  • are homeless in temporary accommodation provided by the council.

Young people and students

Children are counted as living in the home of the parent they normally live with.

If you are an approved foster carer, and are fostering a child, or have fostered a child in the last 12 months, you are allowed one extra bedroom.

Children who are students living away from home keep their bedroom allowance, as long as they have been away for less than 52 weeks and they intend to return home.

Child unable to share because of disability

If you have a severely disabled child who needs their own room because of disability, you may be allowed an extra bedroom. To qualify, your child must be in receipt of the middle or higher rate care component of Disability Living Allowance, and we will consider:

  • the nature of the overnight care and how frequently your child needs it
  • the nature of the overnight care and whether it would cause a disturbance to another child sharing the room
  • whether sharing a bedroom with the disabled child would pose a risk of physical, mental or emotional harm to either child
  • how long the situation is likely to last.

Adult unable to share because of disability

If, due to disability, two adults in the property are unable to share a bedroom, you may be allowed an extra bedroom. In deciding this, we will look at relevant issues, which may include:-

  • One or both adults must be in receipt of the middle or higher rate care component of Disability Living Allowance, the daily living component of Personal Independence Payment, Attendance Allowance, or Armed Forces Independence Payment.
  • whether there is a medial need for care.
  • the nature and severity of the disability.
  • whether there is enough space for partners to share a bedroom in separate beds.
  • Whether there was some way to alleviate the disturbance at night.

Armed forces

If an adult who normally lives with you is away on operations with the armed forces you can keep their bedroom allowance, if they intend to return to live with you.