How much is Housing Benefit?
The amount of Housing Benefit that is awarded depends on your circumstances and income – our benefits calculator can indicate how much you may be entitled to.
The amount you would receive will also depend on your rent. If you pay rent to a private landlord your Housing Benefit will usually be based on the Local Housing Allowance, which is an amount based on how many bedrooms your household requires and figures provided to the Council annually by a Rent officer.
We do not count other rooms such as a living room, kitchen or bathroom.
The number of people who live with you is also used to work out how many bedrooms you are entitled to. You are allowed one bedroom for:
- Each adult couple
- Any other person aged 16 or over
- Any two children of the same sex aged under 16
- Any two children aged under 10, regardless of their sex
- Any other child
The number of bedrooms you are assessed as needing is then used to work out which LHA rate applies to you.
A couple (or lone parent) with one child would be assessed as needing two bedrooms.
A couple (or lone parent) with two sons aged 6 and 11 would also be assessed as needing two bedrooms.
A couple (or lone parent) with a son aged 11 and a daughter aged 6 would be assessed as needing three bedrooms.
Local Housing Allowance Rates
|Weekly LHA Rates for 2023/24|
Shared accommodation rate
One bedroom rate
Two bedroom rate
Three bedroom rate
Four bedroom rate
Registered Social Landlords
If you pay rent to a registered social landlord or housing association, such as Onward Homes, and you are entitled to claim HB, the amount of HB we can pay may again depend on how many people live in your household. Rather than a fixed amount such as Local Housing Allowance, the amount of Housing Benefit is reduced if you have more bedrooms than you need.
This is called the Spare Room Subsidy but is commonly called bedroom tax.
Please note that the Spare Room Subsidy does not apply to Pension aged claims.
The size criteria allows one bedroom for each person or couple living as part of the household with the following exceptions:
- children under 16 of the same gender are expected to share
- children under 10 are expected to share regardless of gender
- a disabled tenant or partner who needs a non-resident overnight carer will be allowed an extra room.
If your house has more bedrooms than your household needs, the amount of housing benefit we can pay will reduce:
- those with one spare bedroom will have their eligible rent reduced by 14%
- those with two or more spare bedrooms will have their eligible rent reduced by 25%