You may be able to get help with your rent if you are on other benefits, work part-time or work full-time on a low income. You cannot get Housing Benefit to help with the costs of a mortgage or home loan. If you are an owner-occupier, you may be able to get help with your mortgage interest through Universal Credit, Income Support, income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance or Pension Credit. If you are eligible to claim Universal Credit, you will get help with your rent included in your monthly Universal Credit payment therefore you will be unable to claim Housing Benefit. HB and the UC rent element will be based on the Local Housing Allowance rates.
How is Local Housing Allowance worked out?
This is based on the number of bedrooms your household needs, not necessarily the number of bedrooms you have. This is sometimes called the size criteria.
The Government allows a set rate of LHA based on number of bedrooms. One bedroom allowed each for:
- every adult couple (married or unmarried)
- any other adult over 16yrs (eg a single adult)
- any two children of the same sex, under the age of 16yrs
- any two children of either sex,under 10 yrs
- any other child
- A non-resident carer (from April 2011)
Example:- a couple who live in a three-bed roomed house with two children of the opposite sex, but both children under the age of 10yrs, would be assessed as needing two bedrooms and would therefore have their future LHA based on the rate for a two-bed roomed house.
In the above example, when the elder child reaches 10yrs the LHA rate would increase to the three-bedroom rate. This is because a bedroom would now be allowed for each child.
Last Updated on Wednesday, October 10, 2018