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How many bedrooms will housing benefit allow me?

The amount of housing benefit you may qualify for is assessed by calculating how many bedrooms you need.

How many bedrooms with housing benefit allow me?

The Government has a set way to calculate the number of bedrooms you will need, and will only pay you the current local housing allowance rate allowed for the area you live in and the number of bedrooms that you need.

You will be assessed as needing a bedroom for each of the following people in your household:

  • adult couple
  • other person aged 16 or over
  • any two children of the same sex up to the age of 16
  • any two children regardless of gender under the age of 10
  • any other child.

Note: Foster children are not included in the room calculation as you will be receiving income for caring for that child. Therefore housing benefit will not apply.

Example's of number of bedrooms allowed by housing benefit based on different situations

Example 1

Adults: One - single mother

Children: Two - 1 x daughter (aged 7 yrs), and 1 x son (aged 2 yrs)

Number of bedrooms allowed by housing benefit: 2 bedrooms

Reason:

One bedroom is allowed for the adult. It is expected that the two children will share the same bedroom even if they are different genders up until the age of 10 yrs.

Example 2

Adults: One - adult couple

Children: Two - 2 x daughters (aged 3 yrs & 13 yrs)

Number of bedrooms allowed by housing benefit: 2 bedrooms

Reason:

The adult couple is allowed one bedroom between the two of them. The two children will need to share a bedroom up to the ages of 16 yrs as they are the same gender.

If the gender of the children in this example were 1 x son and 1 x daughter but the ages remained the same, this applicant would qualify for a bedroom each of the children so a 3 bedroom property would be allowed instead of just 2 bedrooms.

Example 3

Adults: Two - adults (not a couple)

Children: Four - 3 x daughters (aged 3 yrs, 7 yrs & 16 yrs) 1 x son (aged 17 yrs)

Number of bedrooms allowed by housing benefit: 4 bedrooms - not 5 bedrooms. Read the reason to find out why.

Reason:

The two adults will qualify for a bedroom each as they are not a couple. The daughters will qualify for two bedrooms. The daughters aged 3 & 7 yrs will have to share a bedroom between them. The daughter aged 16 yrs will qualify for a bedroom of her own. The son aged 17 yrs will also qualify for a bedroom of his own.

If you use the assessment method above to calculate the number of bedrooms allowed you will get the answer of 5 bedrooms - this would be the wrong answer. As the maximum number of bedrooms allowed to be claimed using housing benefit is 4 bedrooms only.



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