Lewisham Council Homepage Skip navigation

What affects your housing benefit claim

See how savings, earnings and the people you live with may affect how much housing benefit you receive.
Universal Credit this year

Every five to six years, the calendar makes it so we have 53 Mondays instead of the usual 52. This coming financial year, 2024 / 2025, is one of those special years.

If you get Universal Credit, the Department for Work and Pensions will only pay for 52 weeks of your rent in a year. In a 53 week financial year, this means there will be one week of rent that will not be covered by Universal Credit.

Find out what we're doing to help and what to do if you're affected and already struggling with the cost of living.


If your savings or capital is less than £16,000 you may be entitled to housing benefit. We ignore the first £6,000 completely.

A tariff income is then calculated.

  • For claimants under 60, for each £250 (or part of £250) you have over £6,000, we will add £1 per week to the income figure we use in your calculation.

  • If you are over 60, for each £500 (or part of £500) you have over £10,000, we will add £1 per week to the income figure we use in your calculation.

Capital includes the current value of:

  • current and deposit bank accounts

  • post office and building society accounts

  • shares and unit trusts

  • national savings certificates and premium bonds

  • other properties or investments that you own or part own

  • any cash holdings.

If you have £16,000 or more in capital and savings, you will not be entitled to any housing benefit. This does not apply if you are in receipt of pension credit.

People living with you 

Non-dependent deductions are made from a claimant's rent for any grown-up children or lodgers the claimant has living with them. This is to reflect cases where it is reasonable to expect a contribution to be made to the claimant. The deductions are based on the status and income of the non-dependant and are taken whether or not the anticipated contribution is made.

From April 2020, the government increased the non-dependant deductions that apply to housing benefit. These deductions are as follows: 

Non-dependant in work with (gross) income of:  Weekly deduction (£)  
 Below £149 £15.85
 £149–£216.99 £36.45
 £217–£282.99 £50.05
 £283–£376.99 £81.90
 £377–£468.99 £93.45
 More than £469 £102.35
 Others aged 25 or over and on income support or JSA, ESA or 18 or over and not in paid work £15.85

Please note: 'in work' means where the non-dependant works 16 hours or more per week.

There are also occasions where there is no deduction for a non-dependant. These fall into two groups based on the circumstances of the non-dependant or the claimant.

There is no deduction if the non-dependant is:

  • under 18 years of age

  • a boarder or a sub-tenant

  • a carer for whom the claimant pays a charge

  • under 25 and receiving income support / jobseeker's allowance / employment support allowance

  • a full-time student

  • in prison or otherwise detained

  • receiving youth training allowance

  • or if the main home is elsewhere.

There are no deductions if the claimant or partner is:

  • registered blind

  • in receipt of the care component of disability living allowance

  • in receipt of attendance allowance.

Earnings disregards

For people in employment, an amount of their pay is disregarded when calculating benefit.

These disregards are:

  • single claimant: £5

  • claimant is one of a couple: £10

  • single parents: £25

  • claimant receives disability or carers premium, or is a part-time fire-fighter or member of the territorial army: £20

The disregards are taken from the net weekly earnings figure. Only one of these disregards can be made even if the claimant (and partner) fall into one or more of these categories.


Housing benefit