Common questions

We get asked lots of different questions about how the Government has changed the benefits system and what might happen as a result. Take a look.If you have your own question, contact us today.

I am not under occupying. I don’t have spare bedrooms?

The assessment is done under Government rules, which say you are entitled to one bedroom for:

  • each couple
  • each adult (16 years and over)
  • 2 children of the same gender under 16 years
  • 2 children of different genders under 10 years

I need an extra room because I have a carer who stays with me overnight. What happens in this situation?

Where you have an overnight carer you will not be affected by the Housing Benefit reduction.

I’ll be eligible for Pension Credit. Or, my children will need a room of their own next year. Is that taken into account now?

You will be affected by the rule until the date that the change happens.

I’m in a two bed property but the second room is a box room, does it count as a bedroom?

Yes, the Government will count every room that can be used as a bedroom. Please contact your Housing Officer should you have any further questions regarding your room size.

I have an attic room that I can’t use as a bedroom. Will it still be counted?

Only rooms that can be used as a bedroom will be counted. Sometimes an attic room or a very small room won’t be counted. Contact your Housing Officer with questions about this.

I am of pension age, will benefit changes affect me?

No, we must stress that the changes will only affect people of working age.

How much benefit will I lose through under occupation?

Depending on your circumstances, you could lose some or all of your Housing Benefit. If you are under occupying by 1 bedroom your Housing Benefit will be reduced by 14% of your rent amount. Some examples:

Rent per week Reduction in Housing Benefit for one spare bedroom (14%)
£59 £8.26
£66 £9.24
£75.50 £10.57
Rent per week Reduction in Housing Benefit for two spare bedrooms (25%)
£64  £16
£80  £20
£83  £20.75

 It is your responsibility to make up this shortfall and pay your rent in full. Failure to pay your rent may result in you losing your home.

Will I have to move?

No, you will not necessarily have to move, unless you want to. You have a number of options to help you stay in your home or to move to a smaller home. If you want to move because of these benefit changes you will be put into a high priority band for an available home.

Your options might be:

  • You could cover the shortfall from other personal income
  • You could try to find work or increase your hours
  • You could take in a lodger or another family member (but this may affect your benefits so please seek advice before considering this option)
  • Move to a smaller property
  • Mutual exchange
  • Private sector renting

We have a special Financial Inclusion Team here to help you, call them on (01724) 279900

If I move, can you pay my moving costs?

In certain circumstances we can help with some moving costs if you are moving to a smaller home because of the changes in benefits. There is certain criteria though so each case is individually considered so please give us a call and we can talk things through with you.

I can’t afford to stay in my home but don’t want to move my children away from their current school. What shall I do?

There’s no easy answer. You can register with Home Choice Lincs and search for available homes within the school catchment area but in reality there won’t be many come up too often. There might be more privately rented homes which could be an option. Speak to us straight away because we may be able to help with the money or budgeting advice, or check you are getting the right benefits.

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