We calculate benefits for housing benefit and Council tax reduction based on how much money you have coming in, your savings, and how many people live with you. 

If you are looking for information on other benefits, you can find out what benefits you could be entitled to at gov.uk.

Earnings and other income

'Income' is any money that you or your partner receive. We also need to see income for other members of your household.

This includes:

  • wages (including any overtime you get)
  • bonuses and tips
  • self-employed earnings
  • benefit payments
  • maintenance payments
  • money from friends
  • state pensions and pension credits
  • private/Occupational Pensions
  • money from boarders/lodgers or rental income
  • student Finance


You'll need to tell us about any savings or investments that you, your partner or any other members of your household have.

You also need to tell us about any sole or joint bank accounts, in the UK or abroad.

This includes:

  • money in a bank, building society, online or post office account
  • cash savings
  • stocks, shares or any unit trust holdings
  • ISAs and TESSAs
  • Premium/Income/Capital Bonds
  • National Savings Certificates
  • land and/or property
  • money held in trust


Most people aged 18 or over, who normally live in your home are called non-dependants. A non-dependant is expected to pay something towards your housing costs.

If you have a non-dependant living with you, the government tells us if your benefit will be reduced and by how much. This is called a Non-Dependant Deduction.

Your benefit will be reduced even if the people living with you do not contribute to your housing costs.

How we calculate non-dependant deductions
Weekly Non-Dependant Deductions Amount (£)
Aged under 25 and on Income Support, Jobseekers Allowance (Income Based) or Employment Support Allowance(Income Related) which does not include an amount for the Support Component or Work-related Activity Component 0
Aged under 25 and on Universal Credit, without any earned income 0
Aged 25 or over on
  • Income Support or Jobseekers Allowance (Income Based), or
  • aged 18 or over and not working, or
  • aged 18 or over and working less than 16 hours per week
In receipt of main phase Employment Support Allowance (Income Related) 14.65
Aged 18 or over, working 16 hours a week or more:  
gross income less than £133.00 14.65
gross income not less than £133.00 but less than £194.99 33.65
gross income not less than £195.00 but less than £252.99 46.20
gross income not less than £253.00 but less than £337.99 75.60
gross income not less than £338.00 but less than £419.99 86.10
gross income not less than £420.00 94.50

When we don’t take a non-dependant deduction 

We won’t take a non-dependant deduction if you or your partner are:

  • registered blind
  • getting Attendance Allowance
  • getting care component of Disability Living Allowance
  • getting the daily living component of Personal Independence Payment
  • getting Armed Forces Independence Payment
  • aged 65 or over and your non-dependant is a full time student

We do not take a non-dependant deduction if the non-dependant:

  • is a full-time student (but only during a period of study, or during the summer break if not working 16 hours or more per week)
  • is on work-based training for young people (formerly Youth Training) and getting a training allowance
  • has been in hospital for 52 weeks or longer
  • is in legal custody
  • a member of the armed forces who is away on operations

Council and housing association tenants

Housing Benefit for social housing tenancies doesn’t cover some service charges, so we take them off the rent you are charged before we work out your benefit.

We can't pay housing benefit to cover these charges:

  • water charges
  • garages
  • heating, lighting, hot water, fuel for cooking
  • meals
  • use of a laundry
  • care and support

Under occupancy size criteria

If you have more bedrooms than they need, we will apply a percentage restriction on your eligible rent. This size criteria for under-occupancy is widely known as “the bedroom tax” though it is a reduction of benefit rather than a tax.

Normally one bedroom is allowed for each of the following:

  • a couple
  • a single person aged 16 or more
  • two children of same sex under the age of 16
  • two children (of the same or opposite sex) under the age of 10
  • any other child

You may be entitled to an extra bedroom if you or your partner requires live-in care or are a foster parent.

If your property has 1 bedroom more than required, a deduction of 14% of the eligible rent is made from your Housing Benefit. 

If your property has two (or more) bedrooms than required, a deduction of 25% of your eligible rent is made.

No reduction applies if you or your partner have reached State Pension Credit age.

If the amount of housing benefit we award you does not cover your full rent, you may be eligible for a discretionary housing payment (DHP).

Private tenants

If you are a private tenant, housing benefit may not cover the full amount of your rent.

Local Housing Allowance (LHA) is used to work out housing benefit for most tenants renting from a private landlord. 

Local Housing Allowance rates are based on:

You can work out the LHA rate that applies to you by entering your postcode. 

LHA Direct is not suitable for everyone 

Local Housing Allowance rules do not apply to:

  • tenancies that started before 15 January 1989
  • certain supported housing, where the landlord is a registered provider of social housing, charity or non-profit making voluntary organisation, that provides the tenant with care, support or supervision
  • caravans, mobile homes and house boats
  • hostel dwellers
  • where the rent officer has decided that a substantial part of the rent is for 'board and attendance'
  • shared ownership

In these cases, we may have to ask the Rent Service to look at whether the rent is too high for the property or the area you live in, or whether the property is too large for your needs.

If the amount of housing benefit we award you does not cover your full rent, you may be eligible for a Discretionary Housing Payment.