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Calculating benefits

Housing Benefit and Council Tax Support are assessed by comparing your income against figures provided by the government that reflect your basic needs. This is called your applicable amount.

The applicable amount differs for each person as it relates to you and your family's circumstances.

We consider:

  • you and your partner's age
  • any disabilities you or your partner may have
  • any children for whom child benefit is payable

Whether you qualify for Housing Benefit and Council Tax Support depends on many circumstances. The following are also taken into consideration:

  • your income and any savings you may have
  • the size of your family
  • income from non-dependents (other people aged 18 or over who live with you)

If you are aged between 16 and pension age and have savings of £16,000 or over, you will not qualify for Housing Benefit. However, if you are of pension age and in receipt of the Guaranteed Credit part of the Pension Credit you may qualify.

Your rent will be looked at to see if it contains certain service charges.

We cannot give help towards:

  • fuel and water charges (unless they relate to a communal area)
  • personal laundry (but not a service charge for the use of laundry facilities)
  • cleaning of rooms and windows (other than communal areas) unless neither you nor any member of your household can do it
  • transport
  • meals or groceries (housing benefit uses set figures as a meal deduction)
  • television rental and license fee (but the cost of television and radio relay may be allowed)
  • leisure items like recreation facilities (but payments for children’s play areas are allowed)
  • personal care and support

These are known as ineligible service charges. You may therefore have a shortfall in the amount of rent you have to pay and the amount of Housing Benefit that we can pay. You would have to make up the shortfall yourself.

Check your potential entitlement to benefits by using a benefits calculator.

Last updated 19 December 2023