Other Housing Benefit Restrictions

Information about other Housing Benefit restrictions

Local Housing Allowance

 Local Housing Allowance is the name for the Housing Benefit that most tenants who rent from private landlords receive. The Government has placed a cap on the amount of Local Housing Allowance that people can get. Find your Local Housing Allowance rates on the Local Housing Allowance (LHA) website.

Housing Benefit: spare bedroom restrictions

 If you claim Housing Benefit and you are a council or housing association tenant, you may be affected by this. If you are under Pension Credit age and you have one or more ‘spare’ bedrooms, your Housing Benefit may be reduced.

Benefits limited to the amount for two children

 If you have a third or subsequent child born on or after 6 April 2017, you will not be able to get the child element of Child Tax Credit for that child. Instead, you will only receive the amount of Child Tax Credit for your children who were born before 6 April 2017. There are exceptions to this rule, for example, for a multiple birth, a child born as the result of rape, or where there is a Special Guardianship Order. If you receive Housing Benefit, you will not be awarded the allowance for your third or any subsequent child within the applicable amount, if your Child Tax Credit has been restricted in this way. In practice, your Housing Benefit is unlikely to decrease or increase as a result of this change.

Mixed age couples

 From 15 May 2019, you can not usually make a new Housing Benefit claim unless you're both pension age. Most mixed age couples have to claim Universal Credit instead. 

Four week temporary absence

 Housing Benefit is normally only be paid when you are living at the address for which you are claiming. There are some exceptions which allow people to be absent from their home and still be entitled. If you are in a country outside of Great Britain, you can be away for no more than four weeks.•If you are away from your home but remain in Great Britain, you can be temporarily absent for up to thirteen weeks.

Backdated claims

 If you're pension age, we can backdate your claim for up to three months. You must provide details of your income and capital for the period before you claimed. If you're under pension age, we can only backdate your claim for a maximum of one month. You must state on your claim form or write to us if you want us to backdate your claim. You must give a valid reason why you were unable to apply for your benefit earlier. We look at each case individually.

Last updated: 17 February 2020