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Foebane72

Query about Housing Benefit under Universal Credit

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I've been looking at the issue of Housing Benefit in Universal Credit, and I can't get a simple straightforward answer as to whether or not the stated monthly amount of UC even includes HB.

 

I understand legacy JSA and IB and ESA having fixed amounts each fortnight for a benefit, but I always thought that since the HB was set by the local council, that it varied a lot from person to person based on their rent, which can vary substantially. But if UC includes a fixed amount for ALL possible rents, doesn't that leave some people at a disadvantage if their rents are high?

 

Also, is it true the HB part of UC also gets stopped during a sanction, and can't be restarted separately with a NIL INCOME call to the council? Does the council even control the HB in UC?

 

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Housing can be part of a UC claim. It will be listed as an amount within the awards, before any deductions are taken for earnings, debt repayments etc.

 

So you could have

Standard Allowance (single claimant) £317.82

Housing £500

Children £231.67

Award before deduction is £xxxx

less earnings related deduction £xxx

Less Advance repayment £xx

Less Tax credit debt

Net UC award £xxx

 

So it is different to Council Housing benefit, as it is part of an overall award calculation.

 

Private rent housing is capped at local housing allowance amount for the number of bedrooms entitlement. Visit the LHA website, enter postcode, work out bedroom entitlement based on people in household. It will tell you the max private rent payable for postcode. There is a non deprndant deduction of about £74 as non dependants* over 20 are expected to pay towards housing,

 

Social rented sector such as housing associations is different, as the rents/service charges are not based on the LHA rates as such. The amounts can vary ( sometimes higher or lower than LHA rate), but UC accepts the rent/service charges, but makes a deduction for spare rooms. If Non dependant* over 20 living at the address,  deduction will apply as above. 

 

*there are exemptions for non dependants receiving disability benefits.

 

Quite a complex area. But this is the basic way it works.

 

Only the standard allowance part of UC is affected by sanctions.

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