Local Housing Allowance changes from April 2011
There are some important changes to Local Housing Allowance from April 2011 which will affect the amount of Housing Benefit you may receive.
The general changes will be:
The £15 maximum weekly top up is removed.
The maximum Local Housing Allowance rate you may qualify for will be restricted to the 4 bedroom property rate.
Local Housing Allowance weekly rates in any area cannot be more than:
- £250 for a one bedroom property
- £290 for a two bedroom property
- £340 for a three bedroom property
- £400 for a four bedroom property
Local Housing Allowance rates will be set at a new lower rate by The Rent Officer Service.
These changes will apply to new claims from 1 April 2011.
If you are already receiving Local Housing Allowance before 1st April 2011 the changes will take effect from your next Local Housing Allowance anniversary date, but you will be affected sooner if:
- You change address
- You or your partner make a new claim for Local Housing Allowance.
- There is a reduction in the number of bedrooms required.
You may receive up to 9 months transitional protection if:
- When you reach the Local Housing Allowance anniversary date the new rate of Local Housing Allowance has decreased.
- You become entitled to more bedrooms but the new Local Housing Allowance rate for the new number of bedrooms is actually lower than the amount you previously received.
In these cases, the eligible rent will either be the Local Housing Allowance rate you received before, or the amount of rent charged, whichever is the lower. This protection does not apply to any element of the top up that you may have previously received.
The transitional protection can end before the 9 months is up, for example, if you move, if your household changes so reducing the number of bedrooms needed, or if you become entitled to more bedrooms because of a change in your household which makes the Local Housing Allowance equal to or more than is being protected.
Additional bedroom for a non resident carer
In some circumstances we can allow an additional bedroom rate for a non resident carer if you or your partner are a person who requires overnight care, and you have a spare room which is used for this by the carer. If you think you may qualify for this please contact us for further details.