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Benefits adviser (GOV.UK website) - Check whether you are entitled to benefits and how much you might get
Most rent costs can be met by HB. There are some housing costs that will not be met. Below are some examples:
If you are not sure if your rental costs can be met by HB please contact us.
Any costs for meals and utilities such as gas, electricity and water rates that are included in the rent will not be included in Calculating HB.
To claim HB and CTS benefit you must be:
A couple is defined as two people who are married or are living together as married (this includes co-habiting partners and civil partners). There are no differences in the way claims for same sex couples and couples of different sex are worked out. If you are claiming as a couple and you have made a joint claim for other benefits, you should claim HB or CTS with the same person as the main claimant and the other as the partner.
There are some circumstances where a person will automatically not be able to get HB or CTS because of their circumstances. If any of the following apply you may not get HB or CTS
If you have more than £16,000 you will not get HB or CTS. See Savings and capital for more details. If you are claiming as a couple we will add both your savings and capital and your partner's.
If you live with a close relative that you pay rent to, you will not be able to get HB. By close relative we mean:
If a person is responsible for the child of their landlord they cannot get HB.
There are other circumstances where a person may not get HB. For further information about who can get HB please contact us.
You can get up to 100% of your rent and council tax paid, however the actual amount depends on the amount of rent or council tax you are charged, your income and savings and the other people who live with you.
Benefits adviser (GOV.UK website): find out whether you are entitled to benefits and how much you might get.
The amount of rent we use to calculate entitlement is not necessarily the amount of rent you are charged. The Rent Service set the rates we use. See our Local Housing Allowance (LHA) page for more information. There may also be deductions for non-dependent adults who live with you.
If bills are included in your rent these will be deducted from the calculation as HB does not cover these costs, unless they are for communal or shared areas.
You and your partner, if you have one, can claim and still work, both full and part time. After deducting income tax, National Insurance and half of any pension, we reduce your earned income using these weekly disregards:
A lone parent works 36 hours per week and earns £180.00 per week. They have pay as you earn income tax of £24.00 and National Insurance deductions of £31.00. They also have £20.00 per week deducted for a company pension scheme, of which we will deduct £10.00 per week for benefits purposes. An earned income disregard of £25.00 per week is also deducted.
The starting point for calculating their award is £90.00 net earnings.
If you have been unemployed long term and are starting work, you can get an extended payment of four weeks Housing Benefit and Council Tax Support. These are the rules to qualify:
Periods of contribution based Jobseekers Allowance can count towards the 26 weeks qualifying period, but you or your partner must be on Income Support or income based Jobseekers Allowance just prior to starting work, increasing hours or pay.
To claim, you can do so by phone, in person at Merton Link or in writing.
If you are claiming income support , income based Jobseekers Allowance or Guarantee Pension Credit, you can get maximum housing and council tax benefit.
Certain benefits for disabled people are fully disregarded. These include:
Other benefits, allowances and tax credits are taken into account in full. These include:
The above list is not exhaustive, but there are too many types to list fully.
Working tax credit and child tax credit are paid to couples, lone parents and single people. You may still qualify for some housing or council tax benefit, even if you get these. Furthermore, for those that work on average 16 hours per week or more, there is an earned income disregard of £16.85 per week in addition to your earned income disregard of £10 or £25.
A lone parent with two children works 32 hours per week, receives working tax credit of £81.45 per week. They get a 16 hour earned income disregard worth £16.85 per week in addition to £25.00 normal earned income disregard for a lone parent.
If you are claiming as a couple or lone parent and paying for childcare you may be able to get a child care earned income disregard worth:
To qualify the care must be provided by one of the following:
A lone parent works and pays a registered childminder £75.00 per week for each of her two children, aged four and six. She would have £150.00 per week earned income disregard for childcare costs.
For more details about our opening hours and how to contact us, go to Merton Benefits Service contact page.
This page was last updated on Monday 1 June 2015