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How we calculate your Housing Benefit

The amount of housing benefit you can receive depends on your family circumstances, and your income and savings.

Your housing benefit will be calculated by comparing the amount of money you need to live on (your 'applicable amount') with the money you have coming in (your 'income').

If you receive income support, income based jobseeker's allowance or your income is less than (or the same as) your applicable amount, you will receive maximum Housing Benefit for your eligible rent and maximum council tax Reduction.

If your income is more than your applicable amount, the amount of Housing Benefit you will receive will be reduced.

If you have other people living in your home who are aged 18 or over (for example, grown up children), and who are not commercial sub-tenants or boarders, your housing benefit will be reduced. This is because they are expected to contribute towards your rent and your council tax. However, if you receive Disability Living Allowance (Care Competent) or Attendance Allowance, or are registered blind, you will not have your Housing Benefit reduced under this rule.

If you are a private tenant, i.e. not a housing association or council tenant, the amount you receive may be restricted if you rent is above the local average. Claims made since 7 April 2008 are calculated using the Local housing Allowance.

Applicable amount

Your applicable amount consists of personal allowance and premiums:

A Personal Allowance which is based on your age, whether you are single or a couple, and the ages of have any dependant children you have.
Premiums which can be added to your personal allowance if you (or your partner) are a parent with at least one dependant child, a disabled person, a carer or a pensioner.


Your income is calculated by adding together the money you have coming in from earnings, benefits, savings and other sources.

  • Social Security Benefits: Most benefits you receive will count in full as income, but Attendance Allowance and Disability Living Allowance will not count.
  • Earnings: Any earnings which you or your partner have will be counted as income, although, depending on the circumstances, an amount of 5, 10, 15 or 25 of your weekly earnings will be ignored. Child care costs of up to 135 for one child and 200 for two or more children can be ignored from earnings but your child must be cared for by a registered child-minder or nursery/play scheme.
  • Savings: If you have savings under 3,000, they will not count at all when your benefit is calculated. You will not get Housing Benefit if you have more than 16,000 in savings, unless you are over 60 and get the guaranteed pension credit. If you have between 3,000 and 16,000 in savings, the regulations assume you have 1 weekly income for every 250 (or part of 250) over 3,000. If you are over 60 the regulations assume you have 1 weekly income for every 500 (or part of 500) over 6000.
  • Other Income: If you have any other income, for example, an occupational pension or maintenance payments, this will generally count in full when your benefit is calculated. 15 of any weekly payment of maintenance is ignored.

Housing benefit and Council Tax reduction calculator.

Contact details

South Derbyshire District Council
Customer Services
Civic Offices, Civic Way
DE11 0AH

Tel: 01283 595795
Fax: 01283 595857
Online: Benefits general enquiry form

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