What's happening and will you be affected?
From 2013 working age tenants claiming benefits had their housing benefit reduced if they were considered to be under occupying their property (have too many bedrooms).
Bedroom Tax was applied to new and existing working age housing benefit claimants in the social rented sector from 1 April 2013
You are exempt from Bedroom Tax rules as soon as you or your partner reach Pension Credit age. To find when this will be, click here to the Pension Credit age calculator. https://www.gov.uk/pension-credit-calculator. This will change in May 2019, when BOTH of you will need to be Pension Credit age in order to be exempt.
Claimants will be assessed to establish the size of accommodation they are deemed to reasonably need
If you are assessed to be under occupying and claiming housing benefit you will have your benefit reduced by:
-14% of eligible rent for one extra bedroom
-25% for two or more extra bedrooms
Housing benefit assessors will rely on information provided by new claimants about the number of bedrooms they have - if there is doubt, assessors will ask the landlord
Boys and girls under 10 years are expected to share a bedroom. So too are children of the same sex under 16 years. Each adult or couple would have their own bedroom
You are not allowed an extra room for when someone visits - this includes where parents are separated and the children spend time in each parent home. In this case only one parent can have the room allowance for the child, even where they share access to the child
No extra bedrooms are allowed for medical reasons, for example where a couple need separate rooms because one of them is ill or recovering from an operation
Examples of how this tax could affect households with children
A household comprising a couple with two children, a boy aged three and a girl aged five will qualify for housing benefit for a two bedroom home - one bedroom for the couple and and a second for the children as they are both under 10.
A household comprising a couple with two children, a boy aged eight and a girl aged 11 qualifies for housing benefit for a three bedroom home, with separate bedrooms for the children as they are different sexes with one aged over 9.
A household comprising a lone parent with three children, two boys aged 11 and six and one girl aged 13 qualifies for housing benefit for a three bedroom home - one bedroom for the lone parent, a second one for the two boys and one additional one for the girl.
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