How much can I get?


How much can I get?

How much Benefit/Reduction can I get?

When we receive an application for Housing Benefit and/or Council Tax Reduction we will look at your circumstances and see whether you are eligible and, if so, how much Benefit/Reduction you should be paid. 

We will usually make a decision within 14 days of receiving a completed application form and associated information. If we require further details or the form is not complete we will write to you to explain what further information we need.

The factors, which affect how much you will get, include:

  • money you and your partner have coming in, including earnings, most benefits and tax credits and things like occupational pensions
  • yours and your partner's savings
  • your circumstances, such as your age, the ages and size of your family, whether you or any of your family are disabled
  • whether your household includes a non-dependant
  • whether the amount of rent you pay is reasonable for your home when compared with similar properties
  • whether your home is a reasonable size for you and your family - see below 
  • whether the amount of rent is reasonable for the area your home is in - see below

If you disagree with our decision you can request a reconsideration.

For claims made before 7th April 2008, the level of rent on which Housing Benefit entitlement will be calculated is set by The Rent Service which is an executive agency of the Department for Work and Pensions. It provides valuations for local authorities in England for use in the assessment of claims for Housing Benefit where the tenant is renting from a private landlord. In making a determination, the Rent Officer will consider:

  • the level of rent
  • the rent for similar properties within the vicinity
  • the number of rooms
  • the age and number of people living within the property being assessed

The determination will usually run for 12 months unless there is a significant change to the property or the number of people included within the household.

To learn more about The Rent Service go to the link to the right of this article and visit their Frequently Asked Questions section.

Claims made after 7th April 2008 will be assessed using the Local Housing Allowance rates. Follow the link to the right of this article to find the rates, which are updated each month, and more information on Local Housing Allowance.

Pre-Tenancy Determinations (PTD)

These are no longer available, as the Local Housing Allowance rates are widely published each month, giving you the opportunity to find out the maximum amount of Housing Benefit you might receive, before committing yourself to the tenancy of a property. Don't forget that the actual amount you are paid may be less than the LHA rate if you have any earned income or savings.

Discretionary Housing Payments

If you are already receiving Housing Benefit and you cannot meet your full rent you can ask for additional help by way of a Discretionary Housing Payment. These are not payments of benefit but provide additional help to meet housing costs. Each application is considered on its own merits, although the Council's discretion is subject to an annual cash limit set by the Government.

When an application is made, the claimant's financial situation will be studied. Only expenditure essential for keeping the home will be taken into account. The following factors may also be considered:

  • the extent of the shortfall and whether the claimant has any income disregarded in the calculation of their Housing Benefit entitlement which could be used to meet it
  • the claimant is elderly or disabled, or has other health problems which might make finding new accommodation more difficult
  • the claimant is facing potential homelessness
  • the efforts the claimant has made to find cheaper or more suitably sized accommodation
  • whether the claimant has asked the landlord to reduce the rent, and the response
  • the reasons for the claimant moving to this property, bearing in mind the availability of Local Housing Allowance rates before signing a tenancy

The Council may award payment of all or part of a shortfall, and an award may be for a limited period to give the claimant the opportunity to find alternative accommodation more suited to their situation.

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