The “Bedroom Tax”

Since April 2013, there have been new rules affecting the amount of Housing Benefit you can get if you live in social rented housing (Council or Housing Association). It depends on how many people live in your home and how many bedrooms the home has.

Officially, this is known as the Housing Benefit Size Criteria Rules, but very often you’ll hear people call it the “Bedroom Tax”.

The Carers UK website has a comprehensive guide to what the Bedroom Tax is, who is affected by it and what it might mean for you.

It’s very important to realise that, even if you aren’t having to pay this extra rent at the moment, a change may happen in your family that means you have to start. Most often this is because someone has moved out of your home.

It’s also important to remember that you may be asked to pay the Bedroom Tax even if there is actually someone sleeping in all of your bedrooms. This is because the rules governing how many people there need to be, and how old they are, are very strict. Again, the Carers UK guide takes you through all of this.

If you’ve been hit by the Bedroom Tax, contact us for advice straightaway. We can help you apply to the Council’s Resident Support Scheme, which may be able to help meet the shortfall in your rent through a Discretionary Housing Payment (DHP).

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