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The Government’s Welfare Reform and Localism Acts both introduce a number of radical changes to the way your benefits are calculated and paid. These changes could significantly affect the amount of money you have coming in each week and may well reduce the amount of housing benefit you get.
The National Housing Federation has a really helpful leaflet that can shows you what you need to know about these changes.
If you are of working age and claiming housing benefit to help pay your rent, but have what the Government deems to be a ‘spare’ bedroom, from April 2013 onwards, your housing benefit will be reduced by 14% for one room, and 25% for two or more bedrooms.
The following people need their own bedroom:
a single person over the age of 16
siblings of different genders over the age of 10, but siblings of the same gender are expected to share.
Here are examples of circumstances under which the Government would consider you have a 'spare' bedroom. It is important to note this does not affect tenants of pension age:
you and your partner live in a three bedroom house and have a boy aged eight and a girl aged three. The Government says that you only need a two bedroom house .
you live by yourself or with a partner in a two bedroom flat
you live by yourself or with a partner in a specially adapted two bedroom bungalow because you are disabled. The only exception to this is if you need a carer to stay overnight on a regular basis.
you live in a three bedroom property and do not have your own children but are fostering children – these children are not counted for benefit purposes and therefore you would be deemed to have two spare bedrooms.