Non-dependant deductions

A non-dependant person is someone who is over 18 years old, who lives with you and your family. For example, an adult son or daughter, an elderly relative or adult friend.

The following people are NOT classed as non-dependants:

  • a partner
  • someone who is dependant on the tenant, such as a child
  • a joint tenant
  • someone who pays the tenant to live there (a lodger)
  • a carer for the tenant

There are some exceptions however. For a full list, contact us on 0300 123 1 567 to check your circumstances in relation to non-dependancy.

If you have a non-dependant person living in your home, your Housing Benefits will be reduced. The amount of reduction depends on several factors such as whether they claim benefits or if they have a job, for example.

Personal Independence Payments (PIPs)

Personal Independence Payments (PIPs) have been replacing Disability Living Allowance (DLA) since 8th April 2013. PIP can help if you have a long-term illness or disability and are aged between 16 and 64 years old. The amount you'll receive depends on how your condition affects you and your life, not the condition itself.

If you apply for PIP, you will be assessed to determine the amount of help you'll get. Regular assessments will follow to check you're still receiving the right amount of support.

The amount you get is measured against two parts - a 'daily living' component, and a 'mobility' component. The amounts currently are:

Daily living:
Standard £53
Enhanced £79.15

Mobility:
Standard £21
Enhanced £55.25

Eligibility

To check if you meet the criteria to receive PIP, visit the PIP eligibility section of the Gov.uk website. 

The PIP section of the Gov.uk website also has information about making claims and appealing agianst decisions. Visit www.gov.uk/pip

There is also a PIP helpline available Monday-Friday, 8am-6pm:
Telephone - 0845 850 3322
Textphone - 0845 601 6677

Alternatively, contact us on 0300 123 1 567 and ask to speak to a Financial Inclusion Officer.

The Benefit cap

There is a limit on the amount of benefits that most people aged 16 - 64 can receive, this is known as the benefit cap.

Benefits that are affected

The cap applies to the total amount of money that the people in your household get from the following benefits:

  • Bereavement Allowance
  • Carer’s Allowance
  • Child Benefit
  • Child Tax Credit
  • Employment and Support Allowance (unless you get the support component)
  • Guardian’s Allowance
  • Housing Benefit
  • Incapacity Benefit
  • Income Support
  • Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • Maternity Allowance
  • Severe Disablement Allowance
  • Widowed Parent’s Allowance (or Widowed Mother’s Allowance or Widows Pension you started getting before 9 April 2001)

How much is the benefit cap?

  • £500 a week for couples (with or without children living with them)
  • £500 a week for single parents whose children live with them
  • £350 a week for single adults who don’t have children, or whose children don’t live with them

This means the amount you get for certain benefits could go down to make sure that the total amount you get isn’t more than the cap level.

Who won’t be affected?

You won't be affected by the benefit cap if anyone in your household qualifies for Working Tax Credit or gets any of the following benefits:

  • Disability Living Allowance
  • Personal Independence Payment
  • Attendance Allowance
  • Industrial Injuries Benefits (and equivalent payments as part of a war disablement pension or the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme)
  • Employment and Support Allowance, if you get the support component
  • War Widow’s or War Widower’s Pension
  • War pensions
  • Armed Forces Compensation Scheme
  • Armed Forces Independence Payment

Thanks to Gov.uk for the information on this page

Universal credit

We've created a video to help explain Universal Credit:

Here are some questions & answers about Universal Credit...

What is Universal Credit?
Universal Credit is one benefit that replaces several existing ones, namely: Housing Benefit, Income Support, Job Seeker’s Allowance (Income-based) and Employment and Support Allowance (Income-based) and Tax Credits.

Will it save me filling out of lots of separate applications?
Unfortunately not. These will still be separate:

  • Child Benefit
  • Council Tax Benefit
  • Disability Living Allowance and its replacement, Personal Independence Payment
  • Contribution-based benefits, such as Job Seeker’s Allowance Contribution-Based and Contribution-Based Employment and Support Allowance.

What’s happening about Pension Credit?
Pension Credit will continue as it is. Eventually, any pensioner claiming help with their rent will get their Housing Benefit, as it is now called, paid in with their Pension Credit.
However, this won’t affect any pensioners until at least October 2014, and even then it will only be pensioners making their first claim for Housing Benefit.

What about the changes for working-age people?
Universal Credit has already started in pilot areas. However, to make sure that any problems with the claim process are addressed, the pilot scheme has been rolled out slower than originally planned. Only single job-seekers have to apply for Universal Credit. Anyone else is still claiming Tax Credits, or Income Support and Housing Benefit etc, as normal.

When is Universal Credit coming to our area?
We’re still not sure. The plan was originally to roll out Universal Credit nationwide in October 2013 for new claims. The government announced in July that only six new Jobcentres will be introducing Universal Credit in October, so no Radian tenants will be affected. We will let you know when Universal Credit is coming as soon as we know.

When will it affect me if I’m already receiving Tax Credits or Housing Benefit?
The original plan was that if you had a change in circumstances after October 2013, you’d need to claim Universal Credit. However, the government is slowing down the introduction of Universal Credit so that any teething problems are ironed out. We are waiting for more details about when it will change, so keep reading R magazine for further updates.
If your circumstances do not change, at some point between October 2013 and October 2017, you will have to claim and move across to Universal Credit.

I expect I’ll get a lot less than I get at the moment.
The rules for Universal Credit have tried to copy some of the benefits it replaces. Some people will receive more than the total of their existing benefits. Others will be entitled to less money under Universal Credit, but they will not see their benefits cut straight away. Instead, their benefits will be frozen until Universal Credit catches up. For example, if your Universal Credit award is £240 per week and you currently get £250, you will still get £250. In April, the Universal Credit rate might go up to £246, but you will stay on £250. The following year, the Universal Credit rate is £252, so you move up to £252.

How will I know when to apply?
You will receive a letter between now and October 2017, telling you that you will need to apply for Universal Credit.

Where do I get a form?
You will need to apply for Universal Credit online. If you don’t have online access at home, you will need to do this at a library or a public access point. The website is: www.gov.uk/apply-universal-credit 

I’ve never used a computer. That last answer filled me with dread!
Don’t panic! There’s lots of time to become computer-literate before the changes come in, and lots of places that can help. If you’re looking for a free or low cost computer course, then you can call 0800 77 1234 to be directed to your nearest UK Online Centre or text ‘online’ and your postcode to 80809. Texts cost 25p + your standard network charge. Ask friends or relatives, and join your local library. You’ll normally only need two forms of identity to join.

How am I going to send my wage slips in if it’s all online?
The plan is that you won’t have to. The DWP will directly receive details of your earnings each month from Revenue and Customs, and adjust your Universal Credit accordingly. If you earned less, you’ll receive more, and if you earned more, you’ll receive less.

What about my rent increase letter? Will you still tell them, so I don’t have to?
No. At the time of writing, we do not think that landlords will be able to tell Universal Credit about your rent increase. You will need to tell them yourself, and report it online. If we hear any more on this issue, we will tell you.

Will they still pay you my Housing Benefit?
No. You will receive one payment of Universal Credit, including all the money to support you and your family, including the money to pay your rent. You will then need to pay your rent yourself out of this money. So effectively your ‘Housing Benefit’ as it is now, will be paid to you.

Won’t people spend the money?
The evidence from the pilot schemes suggests that this is happening to some extent. The government is determined that the majority of people will have their housing element paid to them, and be able to manage the responsibility of paying their rent. However, the government says some people will still have their Universal Credit paid straight to their landlord if they are vulnerable. Vulnerable people include those with addictions, severe debt problems or a learning disability. However, you won’t be allowed to have the money paid straight to your landlord just because it would be easier for you.

How do I pay my rent from my Universal Credit?
The easiest way would be to set-up a Direct Debit that can be paid from your bank account direct to your rent account when your Universal Credit payment is due. Alternatively, you can set up a standing order, pay online, or by mobile phone app by scanning the QR code on your rent statement. You can pay over the phone by debit card or credit card, or you can pay by payment card at a Paypoint location.

Anything else I should know?
The other major change is that Universal Credit will be paid monthly, on the same date each month. Some Tax Credits are paid four-weekly, but the change to monthly payments is a big shift for all the other benefits. There will need to be some form of bridging payment for some people who move from a weekly payment to a monthly payment, and the government is analysing the pilot areas to decide what form this will take.

What is Radian doing to prepare?
We have increased the size of the benefits team. We are also working hard to keep residents informed, and we are looking at how we can support people to go online. We are looking to increase the dates on which we allow direct debit payments and we’re keeping a close eye on the plans for Universal Credit, which are still changing slightly.

So is some of it still likely to change?
Universal Credit will be introduced and the above is correct at the time of updating the website. We’ll tell you here about any changes to the plans for Universal Credit.

 

Under occupation

We've created a video to help explain Under Occupancy

From April 2013 Welfare Reforms introduced the 'removal of the spare room subsidy'. It means that anyone of working age who has more bedrooms than they need will have their Housing Benefit reduced either by 14% if they have one spare bedroom; or 25% if they have two or more spare bedrooms.

The following groups are allowed a bedroom:

  • Every adult couple
  • Any other adult aged 16 or over
  • Any two children of the same sex who are under 16 years old
  • Any two children regardless of sex who are under 10 years old
  • Any other child under 16 years old

The following groups are allowed an additional bedroom:

  • A foster carer
  • An adult child in the Armed Forces
  • Disabled children who are unable to share a bedroom

Find out what year you'll become exempt from the 'removal of the spare room subsidy' - check the Exemption table!

Under occupation & disabled people

A couple are expected to share a bedroom even if one or both of them are disabled, and regardless of their situation. They are not automatically entitled to an extra bedroom even if one is on an oxygen machine, undergoing at-home dialysis, or suffering from sleep apnoea. They can apply for a Discretionary Housing Payment (DHP) from their local council, but this is at the council’s own discretion and likely to only be for a limited time.

A disabled child, however, is entitled to their own bedroom if he or she cannot share with siblings. If the child receives Disability Living Allowance and doesn’t sleep, for example, because of behavioural problems, the council is likely to find that the child can have an extra room. Contact your council for more information, or a Welfare Benefits Officer at Radian on 0300 123 1 567 for further advice.

Any disabled adult who needs a carer, who lives elsewhere, to stay regularly overnight is entitled to a spare room for the carer. “Regularly” is not defined. Again, contact your council if you think this might apply to you.

 

contact us