The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) is making changes to the housing benefit system as part of the Government’s Welfare Reform Act. These changes may affect how much housing benefit you receive.
From 1 April 2013, the DWP will allocate housing benefit according to the number of bedrooms it estimates you need, rather than the number of bedrooms your property has.
This “bedroom tax” – also known as Social Sector Size Criteria – will affect housing benefit claimants aged between 16 and 61 who live in a home with two bedrooms or more.
The DWP has calculated that households need one bedroom for each:
- adult couple
- person aged 16 or over
- two children (under 16) of the same sex
- two children (under 10), regardless of their sex
- additional child
- carer providing overnight care who does not normally live in the property
If, according to these calculations, the DWP find you have one spare bedroom, your housing benefit will be reduced by 14%.
If, according to these calculations, the DWP find you have two or more spare bedrooms, your housing benefit will be reduced by 25%.
If your housing benefit is reduced, you’ll need to pay your landlord the difference between your housing benefit and your rent from April 2013.
What if you’re affected?
Please contact Peabody’s Welfare Benefits team on 0800 022 4040 to discuss your options.
For more information please call the Government’s information line: 0845 605 7064.