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Important Changes to Council Tax and Housing Benefit

Latest news on Housing Benefit - For information only

Dudley becomes a Full Digital Service Area on 5th July 2017 

You may have heard lots in the news recently about Government plans to change the rules on how your benefit is calculated. A lot of the things being talked about are now about to be implemented.

These changes are likely to mean that the amount of Housing Benefit you get will reduce if one or both of the following apply:

  • You have other adults living with you who are not your partner (these are sometimes referred to as non dependants) and/or
  • You rent your home

To help you better understand these changes, you can read our information below. 

Extra allowance if you need a carer to live in with you

Do you or your partner have a carer who stays overnight in your home to help care for a disabled child or another adult who lives with you who is disabled?

  • Is the overnight care provided by a carer who doesn’t live in your home?
  • Do you actually have a spare bedroom that your carer uses overnight?

If the answer to all these questions is yes, then from 1 April 2017 the help you get with your rent may be able to take account of this.

From April 2017, a bedroom that is used by a carer (or team of carers) who doesn’t actually live in your home but provides overnight care for either a disabled child or a disabled adult who lives with you, can be taken into account when working out how much Housing Benefit to pay. 

In some cases, this could result in an increase in Housing Benefit, however all your circumstances would need to be considered to decide whether you can get more money. This will include whether the child or adult who lives with you are entitled to certain disability benefits.  

Even if your Housing Benefit doesn’t increase as a result, it is still in your interest to tell your local authority if you have these care arrangements for your child or the non-dependant adult who lives with you. So, if you think that you might be entitled to help with the cost of an additional bedroom that is used by a carer (or team of carers) please speak to an advisor on 0300 5558100.

Extra allowance if you are unable to share a bed room due to disability 

Are you or your partner unable to share a bedroom because of a disability?

  • •Do you and your partner sleep in separate bedrooms because of this?

If the answer to these questions is yes, then from 1 April 2017 the help you get with your rent may be able to take account of this.  

From April 2017, an extra bedroom can be taken into account when working out how much Housing Benefit to pay, if a couple are unable to share a bedroom because of a  disability. Your local authority must also be satisfied that you and your partner cannot reasonably share a bedroom due to your disability and that a spare bedroom is available in the household for that use. 

In some cases, this could result in an increase in Housing Benefit, however all your circumstances would need to be considered to decide whether you can get more money. This will include whether you or your partner are entitled to certain disability benefits.

Even if your Housing Benefit doesn’t increase as a result, it is still in your interest to tell your local authority if you and your partner are unable to share a bedroom. So, if you think that you might be entitled to help with the cost of an additional bedroom as you and your partner are unable to share (due to disability) please speak to an advisor on 0300 5558100.

Increase in 'non-dependant deductions'

Your benefit entitlement may change if you have other adults (apart from your partner) living with you.

Deductions can be made from the amount of benefit you get if you share your home with any adults who are not dependant on you - for example, adult children, relatives or friends. These deductions are made because it is assumed that these people should pay something towards your rent, whether they actually do so or not. If you are in this position you may already be aware that these are called non dependant deductions.

The following table non dependant charges for 2017 shows the revised deductions and how your benefit could be affected.

If you are affected by this change you will have to ask the other adults in your home to increase the money they give you or you will have to make up the shortfall from your own income.

Non dependent deductions - Housing Benefit

 Week Rates

 2017

Aged under 25 and on IS or JSA(IB) or ESA(IR) which does not include an amount for the support component or work-related activity component

Nil

Aged 25 or over and on IS or JSA(IB), or aged 18 or over and not in remunerative work

14.80

In receipt of main phase ESA(IR)

14.80

In receipt of Pension Credit

Nil

Aged 18 or over and in remunerative work  

 - Gross income less than £136

14.80

 - Gross income not less than £136 but less than £200

 34.00

 - Gross income not less than £200 but less than £259

 46.65

 - Gross income not less than £259 but less than £346

 76.35

 - Gross income not less than £346 but less than £430

 86.95

 - Gross income not less than £430

95.45

 

Non dependent deductions - Council Tax Reduction

 Week Rates

 2017

Under 25 on IS,JSA(IB), ESA(IR) and people in receipt of Pension Credit

Nil

Aged 25 and over in receipt of IS and JSA(IB), in receipt of main phase ESA(IR), aged 18 or over, not in remunerative work

Nil

Gross income less than £196.95

3.80

Gross income not less than £196.95 but less than £341.40

7.65

Gross income not less than £341.40 but less than £424.20

9.65

Gross income not less than £424.20

11.55