How benefits are worked out

The Council looks at your circumstances to work out your benefit.

Your housing costs

Housing costs include rent and/or Council Tax charges.

For some tenants on a low income living in private rented accommodation the Council will use the relevant Local Housing Allowance (LHA) rate to work out your Housing Benefit.

Your income

Income includes money that you and your partner have coming in, such as earnings, some benefits and tax credits, occupational pensions, your savings and your partner's savings (savings includes other capital such as stocks and shares and property, as well as bank or building society accounts).

If you do not receive Income Based or Jobseeker's Allowance, we have to compare the money you have coming in (your income) to your needs.

Your income will include an assumed income from any capital you have over £6,000.

Your needs are worked out using the personal allowances and premiums for the members of your family who live with, and are dependent on you.

You cannot get a Benefit if you and your partner have more than £16,000 in savings or capital. The rules covering this are different for some pensioners - please contact the Benefits Service for more information.

If you are working for an employer, earnings are worked out after allowing for Income Tax, National Insurance contributions and half of any pension contributions that you make.

If you are self-employed we will need to see your accounts and income tax documentation.

All other income is taken into account on a weekly basis, including state benefits, private pensions and maintenance payments.

Some types of income are ignored either in full or in part when working out how much we can pay you. For example Child Maintenance, Child Benefit, Disability Living Allowance, Attendance Allowance.

Your needs

The Benefits Service will look at your circumstances, such as your age, the ages and size of your family and whether you or any of your family are disabled.

Needs are a combination of Personal Allowances and extra Premiums based on your individual circumstances.

These are set by Central Government and are used by the Benefits Service to calculate your benefit entitlement.

Non-dependents

Non-dependents are anyone who lives with you could help with the rent.

You may get less Benefit because of people living with you.

These people could be:

  • Children who have left school and you do not receive Child Benefit for
  • Relatives
  • Friends

If the non-dependents are over 18 the Government expects them to pay a share of your housing costs.

The Government lays down set amounts, which the Council must take off your benefit.

This deduction is based on the non-dependents' gross weekly income (pay before stoppages plus any other income including benefits).

You must let the Benefits Service know if there are any non-dependents living with you.

The following amounts will be deducted from your benefit.

Housing Benefit deductions
About the non-dependent Deduction from Housing Benefit
Aged 25 or older with Income Support, income-based Job Seekers Allowance, Main Phase income-related Employment and Support Allowance £14.65
Aged 25 or older in receipt of Universal Credit and not working £14.65
Aged over 18 and not working £14.65
Aged 18 or older and gross income less than £133 £14.65
Aged 18 or older and gross income £133 to £194.99 £33.65
Aged 18 or older and gross income £195 to £252.99 £42.20
Aged 18 or older and gross income £253 to £337.99 £75.60
Aged 18 or older and gross income £338 to £419.99 £86.10
Aged 18 or older and gross income £420 or more £94.50
Receives Pension Credit £0

If the non dependant is in receipt of Universal Credit and working, the deduction will be based on the amount of gross income mentioned above

Council Tax Reduction deductions
About the non-dependent Deduction from Council Tax Reduction
Aged 25 or older with Income Support, income-based Job Seekers Allowance, Main Phase income-related Employment and Support Allowance £0
Aged 25 or older in receipt of Universal Credit and not working £3.77
Others aged 18 or over £3.77
Aged 18 or older and gross income less than £183 £3.77
Aged 18 or older and gross income £183 to £315.99 £7.58
Aged 18 or older and gross income £316 to £393.99 £9.56
Aged 18 or older and gross income £394 or more £11.45
Receives Pension Credit £0

If the non dependant is in receipt of Universal Credit and working, the deduction will be based on the amount of gross income mentioned above

Exceptions

Your benefit will not be reduced if...

The non-dependent person is:

  • Under 25 and receiving income-related Employment and Support Allowance, Income Support or income-based Jobseekers Allowance
  • Under 18
  • A full time student

You or your partner:

  • Receive Attendance Allowance, or
  • Receive Disability Living Allowance (care component), or
  • Are registered blind

If any of the above don't apply, your benefit will usually be reduced by a fixed amount. This amount does not depend on what the non-dependent pays you, even if they pay nothing at all.