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Working out your Local Housing Allowance

To work out how much benefit you might get you need to:

  • work out how many bedrooms you are entitled to and which Local Housing Allowance rate applies to you - this is shown below
  • check the Local Housing Allowance rates for the area you want to live in our section: Local Housing Allowance Rates
  • Please note that effective from April 2012, that LHA rates are frozen at the rate set for April 2012 for one year. These rates will be changed annually from April 2013.
  • find out if you can get the full amount of benefit.

The amount of benefit you can get may be affected by:

  • any money you have coming in
  • any savings you have
  • how much your rent is
  • if we expect anyone living with you to pay towards your rent
  • if you share paying the rent with someone else who is not your partner

For more information about this, please get in touch with us at the address below.

How many bedrooms am I entitled to?

The number of people who live with you is used to work out how many bedrooms you are entitled to. We do not count other rooms such as a living room, kitchen or bathroom.

The number of bedrooms you are entitled to is then used to work out which Local Housing Allowance rate usually applies to you. In some cases, there are some more rules – these are looked at below.

You can use the following information as a guide to work out how many bedrooms you are entitled to.

You are entitled to one bedroom for:

  • every adult couple (married or unmarried)
  • any other adult aged 16 or over
  • any two children of the same sex aged under 16
  • any two children aged under 10
  • any other child.

Reena and James

Reena and James are a couple who have a child, Ben, who is nine years old.

They are entitled to one bedroom for themselves and one for Ben. This means any benefit they are entitled to will be based on the Local Housing Allowance rate for two bedrooms.

Susan

Susan is a single mother who has three children, Tom, who is fourteen, Judy, who is eleven and Raymond, who is six.

Susan is entitled to one bedroom for herself, one bedroom for Judy and one bedroom for Tom and Raymond to share. This means any benefit they are entitled to will be based on the Local Housing Allowance rate for three bedrooms.

Lisa and Matt

Lisa and Matt are a couple who have five children, Shaun, who is seventeen, Graham, who is fifteen, Laura, who is twelve, Millie, who is nine and Jessica, who is six.

They are entitled to one bedroom for themselves, one bedroom for Shaun, one bedroom for Laura and Millie to share, one bedroom for Graham and one bedroom for Jessica. This means any benefit they are entitled to will be based on the Local Housing Allowance rate for five bedrooms.

What else might affect the Local Housing Allowance rate?

There are extra rules if you are:

  • aged 35 or over, single and do not live with any dependants
  • aged under 35, single and do not live with any dependants
  • a couple and do not live with any dependants
  • you are a care leaver aged under 22
  • you are severely disabled

You can get advice about these extra rules from Benefits Services at your local office.

If you are a joint tenant this may affect the benefit you can get. For more information about joint tenants, please get in touch with your local office.

Non-dependants

If you claim benefit you can only get it for yourself and your family. If you share a property with someone who is not part of your family, your benefit may be reduced. This is because we may expect them to pay towards your rent.

For more information about this, please get in touch with us at the address below.

Can I appeal if I do not agree with the Local Housing Allowance rate for this area?

You cannot ask for a review of the Local Housing Allowance rate for the area where you live.

Thank you for your feedback!

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Last updated: 25 February 2016

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