Changes to Housing Benefit from April 2013

What has changed?

Size Restriction for Accommodation let by a Registered Housing Associations or other registered landlord.

The Government introduced size restrictions for working age tenants on Housing Benefit in the social sector From 1st April 2013. (If you are renting from a local authority, a registered housing association or other registered social landlord). Customers who have one spare bedroom will result in a 14% reduction in the rent allowed for HB. Customers with two or more spare bedrooms will see a 25% reduction in the rent allowed for calculating HB.

Size restrictions already apply to private sector tenants claiming Housing Benefit.

Benefit cap

The Government introduced a new cap on benefits within the London areas of Bromley, Croydon, Enfield and Haringey on 15th April 2013. For all other Local Authorities across the country the DWP will move from implementation in the first Local Authority areas to national rollout over the summer and as such all households identified as being appropriate to be capped will, in line with existing plans, have been capped by the end of September 2013. We have been advised that the national roll out will commence on 15th July 2013. 

The benefit cap means that people should not get more in benefit payments than the average wage paid to people in work:

  •   £500 per week (£26,000 p.a.) for couple and lone parent households
  •   Lower rate of £350 per week will apply for single adult households.

For More information and to use the benefit cap calculator please visit the Direct Gov website at www.gov.uk/benefitcap