Housing cost contributions
Deductions known as ‘housing cost contributions’ are made for each non-dependant in your household. Non-dependants are usually adults who live with you on an informal basis. For example, a friend or family member who doesn’t pay rent.
For every non-dependent in your household, a fixed amount will be deducted from the amount you get. This is currently £85.73 every calendar month.
Housing cost contributions won’t be deducted if you or your partner are certified blind, or receiving:
- Disability Living Allowance (DLA) – care component.
- Attendance Allowance.
- Personal Independence Payment (PIP) – daily living component.
- Armed Forces Independence Payment
Housing costs contributions also won’t be deducted if the person living with you is:
- under 21
- receiving state pension credit
- a carer
- responsible for a child under 5, or
- receiving certain disability benefits.
Under 35s renting from a private landlord
You can usually only get the shared accommodation rate (SAR) if you are single, renting privately and under 35 with no children. However, in some circumstances you can get more than the SAR even if you are under 35. For further information visit this Gov.uk page.
Housing costs on 2 homes
Generally you can only get help towards your housing costs for the home you normally live in. If you do have to pay rent on 2 homes, UC will only help you with the rent on both if:
- you have left your normal home because of a fear of violence and are living somewhere else. You must intend to return to your normal home (UC can help you for up to 12 months)
- you are waiting for disabled adaptations to be done on a new home and are living in your old home whilst you are waiting (UC can help you for up to 4 weeks)
- you are a large family and the council or housing association has housed you in 2 homes.
UC will probably not help you pay rent on 2 homes if you have to do so for any other reason. So it is important you give in your notice at your old accommodation and move in to your new home as soon as you can.
Away from your home for a temporary period
Sometimes you can get help with your housing costs even if you are away from home for a temporary period, for example:
- you are in prison (paid for the first 6 months)
- you are away from home due to fear of abuse (paid for up to 12 months)
- you are away for any other reason, you do not leave the UK and you intend to return home – for example, you are on holiday or in hospital (paid for up to 6 months).
Renting from a close family member
You can’t get help towards your housing costs if you pay rent to a close family member who you live with.
Use entitledto’s benefits calculator to get an estimate of how much you can get.