Under Occupation Penalty or 'Bedroom Tax'

If you rent from a housing association or registered social landlord and you have one or more spare bedrooms, we may reduce your Housing Benefit.

Note: This does not affect pension age customers. Pension age is currently 63+ years old.

How many bedrooms is my household allowed?

You must count one bedroom for the following:

  • an adult couple or a single adult (16 or older)
  • 2 children under 16 of the same gender
  • 2 children under 10 (regardless of gender)
  • another child if you already have 2 who share
  • a couple or children who cannot share because of a disability or medical condition (please see criteria below)
  • an overnight carer for a member of your household if the carer does not live with you but sometimes has to stay overnight (please see criteria below)

One spare bedroom is allowed for:

  • foster carers who have fostered (or become an approved foster carer) in the last 52 weeks.
  • parents with adult children in the Armed Forces (or reservists) if they are away and intend to return home.

If your home is larger than you need, you may lose part of your Housing Benefit.

The reduction is:

  • 14% of the ‘eligible rent’ for 1 spare bedroom.
  • 25% of the ‘eligible rent’ for 2 or more spare bedrooms.

Example: Your eligible rent is £100 per week. Housing Benefit pays £50 and you pay £50. You have 1 spare bedroom so the reduction is 14%. This means your benefit will be reduced by £14.

If you are disabled or need overnight care

If your Housing Benefit has been reduced due to the government's 'Bedroom Tax', but you meet the criteria below, please contact us or visit any of our One Stop Shops.

Overnight carer

If you have a resident carer (paid or unpaid) who lives in your property as their home (whether a relative or not) they will qualify for an extra bedroom.

A spare bedroom is also allowed for a carer if:

  • the care provider lives elsewhere but provides overnight care when medically required.
  • the person receives care on a regular basis.
  • the disabled person receives a qualifying benefit.

Disabled child

A disabled child is allowed a spare bedroom if:

  • there is a spare bedroom for the child to sleep in.
  • the child cannot reasonably be expected to share a bedroom.
  • the child  receives a qualifying benefit.

Couples

Couples who cannot reasonably be expected to share a room due to his or her disability are allowed a spare bedroom if:

  • there is not enough space for two single beds due to medical equipment.
  • there is a spare bedroom for the person to sleep in.
  • the disabled person receives a qualifying benefit.

Qualifying benefits

The disabled person must be in receipt of one of the following:

  • middle or higher rate care component of Disability Living Allowance
  • Attendance Allowance
  • daily living component of Personal Independence Payment
  • Armed Forces Independence Payment