Housing Benefit - Single and under 35?
Currently single young people who are aged under 25 can only claim a shared accommodation
rate to help with their rent (unless certain exemptions apply).
The Government has changed the rules that apply to single people living in self-contained
accommodation and aged 25 or more, but who are under 35. This means that they will
only be entitled to the lower rate of Housing Benefit for a room in shared accommodation.
When making a new claim for Housing Benefit or you move home on or after 1 January
2012, single claimants under 35 will be entitled to the shared accommodation rate
rather than the one-bedroom self-contained rate.
If you are already claiming Housing Benefit, and you received the additional 9 months
‘protection’ - Single claimants under 35 will be entitled to the shared accommodation
rate rather than the one-bedroom self-contained rate when this ‘protection’ expires.
You will already have been issued with a letter to confirm when this protection
ends when we last assessed your Housing Benefit amount.
If you are renting a property from a private landlord and have been claiming housing
benefit continuously since before 7 April 2008 you will not be assessed under the
LHA rules, however, all Single claimants under 35 will be entitled to the lower
eligible rent based on the Single Room Rate from when we next assesses your Housing
Benefit on or after 1 January 2012.
This means that single claimants under 35 will only be entitled to the lower rate
of Housing Benefit for a room in shared accommodation if all of the following apply:
- you are a single person
- you are occupying one-bedroom self-contained accommodation in the private rented
- your Housing Benefit is due to be reviewed from January 2012 onwards or a new claim
is made from January 2012 onwards
- at the date of the review you will be aged under 35 years, and you are not covered
by any of the exemptions on sharing accommodation
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
If you are not assessed under LHA rules we cannot provide you with an estimate at
present of the Single Room Rate, although the rate you will get is likely to be
much lower than the rate you currently get.