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Use an online calculator to work out whether you will be affected by the benefit changes

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Bedroom tax

The Under Occupancy (bedroom tax) charge limits the amount of housing benefit working age tenants can get if they are deemed to have a spare bedroom. The reduction in housing benefit will be calculated based on the number of people living in the house and the number of bedrooms occupied.

Housing benefit entitlement will be reduced by 14% of the weekly rent where a claimant has one spare bedroom, or 25% where there are two or more spare bedrooms.

The Under Occupancy (bedroom tax) charge limits the amount of housing benefit working age tenants can get if they are deemed to have a spare bedroom. The reduction in housing benefit will be calculated based on the number of people living in the house and the number of bedrooms occupied.

Housing benefit entitlement will be reduced by 14% of the weekly rent where a claimant has one spare bedroom, or 25% where there are two or more spare bedrooms.

You could be affected:

  • if you are 16 to 61 years old
  • even if you only get a small amount of housing benefit, and
  • even if you are sick or disabled.

You should use the benefit calculator on the right to see if you will be affected. For more information on the rules about 'spare' bedrooms, please see the list below:

  • Adult(s) or couples over 16 require one bedroom
  • Single persons over 16 require a bedroom
  • Siblings of the same sex up to the age of 16 require a bedroom
  • Siblings of the opposite sex where one is over the age of 10 require a bedroom each
  • A disabled child may be entitled to their own bedroom
  • A claimant who requires an overnight carer will be entitled to an extra bedroom
  • A foster carer will be entitled to a spare bedroom even when they do not have a child placed with them
  • A claimant may be entitled to a spare bedroom if they can demonstrate that they need it to store their medical equipment
  • A claimant will be exempt from the bedroom tax for up to 12 months if there has been bereavement in the family which has caused the under occupation
  • Claimants living in temporary accommodation are exempt from the bedroom tax as well as claimants living in certain supported accommodation
  • There are no specific dispensations for disabled claimants living in adapted or specially designed properties.


If you are worried about being able to afford to pay your rent from April 2013 you should:

Mr and Mrs Jones claim Housing Benefit. They live in a three-bedroom house and have a boy and a girl aged eight and three. Mr Jones has a job. Because both children are under the age of 10, the Government says they can share a room, leaving the third bedroom as a 'spare'.

Mr and Mrs Jones' benefit would be reduced by 14% and they will need to pay more to cover their rent. 14% of their £80 rent is £11.20. Their housing benefit will be reduced by £11.20 to £68.80 per week. They will have to pay £11.20 per week towards their rent, so they should:

  • use a benefits calculator to check they are claiming all the benefits they are entitled to,
  • consider downsizing to a smaller home through our It's Your Move scheme,
  • work out how to reduce everyday living costs and bills, and
  • think about whether Mrs Jones could find work, which would increase their income.


This information on this page is for general guidance only. It should not be regarded as a complete or authoritative statement on welfare benefits and may be subject to change. For the most up-to-date guidance, please contact your local council or Citizens' Advice Bureau.

This page was printed from A2Dominion Web site at http://www.a2dominion.co.uk/