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Housing Benefit: non-dependants and overpayments

Housing benefits explained

What is a Non-dependant?

If you are entitled to Housing Benefit, anyone who lives with you, who is not on the tenancy agreement and is 18 years old or over, is classed as a 'non-dependant' for Housing Benefit purposes.  This means that you must provide evidence of their income to Housing Benefit so that they can determine whether a reduction in your entitlement should be made.

Below is a summary of the various current levels of non-dependant charges effective from 1st April 2015:

Weekly Charge Non dependant’s Income
£14.65 They are aged 25 or over and receiving Income Support or Job Seekers Allowance (income based)
£14.65 They receive the main phase of Employment and Support Allowance (income related)
Nil Aged under 25 and on IS/JSA(IB) or assessment phase ESA(IR)
Nil Aged under 25, has no earned income and is receiving Universal Credit
£14.65 Aged over 25, has no earned income and is receiving Universal Credit
£14.65 Receiving ESA(Contribution based) or JSA(Contribution based)
£14.65 Aged 18 or over and working less than 16 hours
Nil In receipt of Pension Credits
Aged 18 or over and in work more than 16 hours with a gross income as follows:
£14.65 Their gross weekly earnings are less than £133.00
£33.65 Their gross weekly earnings are between £133.00 and £194.99
£46.20 Their gross weekly earnings are between £195.00 and £252.99
£75.60 Their gross weekly earnings are between £253.00 and £337.99
£86.10 Their gross weekly earnings are between £338.00 and £419.99
£94.50 Their gross weekly earnings are more than £420.00

If you are eligible for Universal Credit Housing Costs and have a non dependent living with you, there is a flat rate contribution (deduction) each month regardless of the non-dependant's income.

For 2016/17, this is £69.37 a month unless one of the following apply:

  • Non-dependent aged under 21
  • Non-dependent on Pension Credit
  • Non-dependent responsible for child under 5
  • Non-dependent receiving daily living Personal Independence Payment, Attendance Allowance or Armed Forces IP
  • Non-dependent receiving middle or higher rate care component of Disability Living Allowance
  • Non-dependent receiving Carer's Allowance
  • The primary carer for a child aged 4 or under

If you have any queries regarding how this may affect you, please do not hesitate to contact our Income Management team on 0800 035 22 11 from a landline or 0300 303 8325 from a mobile (if you have inclusive minutes) or contact your local Housing Benefit team/Universal Credit.

What do I do if I receive a letter from Housing Benefit regarding an overpayment?

If you or your household's circumstances change, it is possible that your entitlement to Housing Benefit could be affected. If your entitlement reduces or ends as a result of any change, depending on the date from which the change is effective from, it could result in an overpayment of Housing Benefit. An overpayment can occur regardless of whether the payments of Housing Benefit are made to you or direct to us.

In the first instance, please contact your local Housing Benefit team should you disagree with the overpayment - as you have the right to appeal against an overpayment within 28 days of receiving the initial notification letter. Please also contact our Income Management team on 0800 035 22 11 from a landline or 0300 303 8325 from a mobile (if you have inclusive minutes).

If an overpayment has been made and you are no longer entitled to help with your rent, you should contact your local Housing Benefit team to arrange repayment of the overpayment directly with them.

If an overpayment has been made, and you still have an entitlement to Housing Benefit, your ongoing Housing Benefit payments will be reduced until the overpayment amount is repaid in full. You are then responsible for making payments of the recovered amount directly to us.

Unable to afford the recovery amount?

If you are unable to afford the recovery amount set by Housing Benefit, you should contact your local Housing Benefit team to request an Income and Expenditure form. Once this form is completed by you and returned to Housing Benefit, they will consider reducing the recovery amount to a more affordable amount. Please bear in mind that by reducing the recovery amount, the overpayment will take longer to repay.

Have a court or eviction date?

If you have rent arrears and have received a court hearing date or eviction date, and have not already done so, it is important that you contact us to discuss your arrears and the problems you are having with paying your rent.

Our Income Management Team can offer you confidential help, advice and support if you are experiencing financial difficulties and can arrange to visit you at your home.

Income Management Team can be contacted on 0800 035 2211 or 0300 303 8324 (from mobiles) or email rents@irwellvalleyha.co.uk

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