What do I need to know before making a claim?
When we work out how much Housing Benefit you may get we have to look at which of the following schemes apply to you:
Housing Benefit - Local Housing Allowance (LHA)
If you are a tenant of a private landlord then we will normally use a Local Housing Allowance rate when assessing your Housing Benefit.
Local Housing Allowance doesn't affect:
- tenancies with registered social landlords
- some supported housing
- tenancies which started before 15 January 1989.
In working out the LHA rate the number of people who live with you is used to calculate how many bedrooms you're entitled to.
The number of bedrooms you're entitled to is then used to work out which LHA rate applies.
You're entitled to one bedroom for:
- every adult couple (married or unmarried)
- any other adult aged 16 or over
- any two children of the same sex aged under 16
- any two children aged under 10
- any other child.
We don't count other rooms such as a living room, kitchen or bathroom.
The current LHA rates for Hastings Borough Council are:
Current LHA rates for Hastings Borough Council Category Type of property Weekly LHA amount A Shared accommodation £69.77 B One-bedroom self-contained £92.05 C Two-bedroom self-contained £120.29 D Three-bedroom self-contained £159.95 E Four-bedroom self-contained £195.62
To help you calculate the number of bedrooms you are eligible for you can use this bedroom calculator.
Housing Benefit - Housing Association/Social landlord tenancies
If you are a Housing Association/Social Landlord tenant your Housing Benefit is normally based on your contractual rent less any ineligible services e.g. water charges, personal heating or hot water.
Important: If you pay rent to a Housing Association/Social Landlord and have not reached the qualifying age for State Pension Credit then your benefit calculation may be affected by the Spare Room Subsidy. This is calculated when we assess the particulars of your home and the rent you pay.
Housing Benefit - Other schemes
If you are not a Housing Association/Social Landlord tenant, or the LHA scheme does not apply to you, then other arrangements may apply e.g. for some supported housing, board & lodgers and tenancies before 15 January 1989.
Further Information on Housing Benefit
Further information about how Housing Benefit is calculated can be found on the government's website.