Changes to Housing Benefit rules from April 2013 mean that the amount you receive is now based on the number of people in your household and the size of your accommodation.
The changes will help make better use of the social housing available, by helping match homes to the families that need them. This change helps families who live in overcrowded accommodation or on waiting lists to find a new home.
If your Housing Benefit has been reduced, then there are a range of options that can help, including:
You could consider moving to alternative housing that better meets your needs, or think about home swapping. Talk to your council or your housing association for advice – you can find out more at www.gov.uk/apply-swap-homes-council
Finding work or increasing your hours, if you can, is one of the best ways to make up any shortfall. Some of your earnings may be ignored when working out your Housing Benefit or other benefits you receive. You can check how much better off you could be by using the Benefits Adviser at www.gov.uk/benefits-adviser and get easy access to thousands of jobs at www.gov.uk/jobsearch
If you need further help with housing costs then your council may be able to offer extra help called a Discretionary Housing Payment. This depends on your circumstances.
If you can’t pay your rent or if you’re worried, talk to us for advice or support. If you’d like independent advice about managing your money then you can also visit the Money Advice Service at www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk