How we work out Housing Benefit 

The amount of Housing Benefit you might get depends on your financial circumstances, your age, who lives with you and where you live. 

Housing Benefit claims for working age people might be limited by the Benefit cap.

What we take into account for Housing Benefit 

When we work out Housing Benefit, we start by looking at the applicable amount.

Applicable amounts

Your applicable amount is the amount central government states you need to live on.

Applicable amounts are made up of two elements – personal allowances and premiums. Both are set by central government.

Personal allowances

Single person personal allowances

Single person personal allowances for Housing benefit and Council Tax Support
Person’s circumstancesWeekly allowance per person

Age 16 - 24 or single parent under 18


Age 25 - 60 or single parent age 18 -59


Age 60 - 64


Age 65 or over


Personal allowances for couples

Personal allowances for couples for Housing benefit and Council tax Support
Couple’s circumstancesWeekly allowance per couple

Both age under 18


One or both age 18 -59


Both age 60 - 64


One or both age 65 or over


Dependants under 20 in education



Premiums are amounts we add to your personal allowance to increase your applicable amount. There are premiums for families, for households with disabled people, and for carers. We will use the information you give us on your claim form to work out what premiums we can include for you.

Family premium

New claimants can’t get Family Premium. You will only get the Family Premium if it your claim was calculated before 1 May 2016 and you haven’t had a break in your claim.  As soon as your Housing Benefit or Child Benefit ends your Family Premium will end.

The Family Premium rate is £17.45 a week

Disability premium

You might get a disability premium if you (and your partner if you have one) are under 60 and either you or the partner is disabled or long term sick. You can’t get the premium if you are single and getting main phase Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) or if you are in a couple and the main claimant is getting main phase Employment and Support Allowance (ESA).

To get the premium, at least one of the following conditions must apply to the disabled person:

  • they get Disability Living Allowance
  • they get Personal Independence Payment (PIP),
  • they are in hospital but would get PIP if they were at home
  • they get Armed Forces Independence Payment (AFIP)

Disability premium is £34.95 a week for a single person and £49.80 if you are one of a couple. You get the couples rate even if one or both of you meet the above conditions.

Disabled child premium

You get a disabled child premium for each dependent child living with you as a member of your family who meets at least one of the following conditions:

  • is blind or registered blind, or has stopped being registered blind within the last 28 weeks
  • gets Disability Living Allowance care component DLA(C) or mobility component DLA(M)
  • gets Personal Independence Payment (PIP)
  • is in hospital but would get PIP if they were at home
  • gets Armed Forces Independence Payment (AFIP)

Where a child spends time in different households, we will normally give the premium to the adult who gets the child benefit.

If the child dies, you will get the premium until the child benefit stops being paid.

The disabled child premium rate is £65.52 a week.

Enhanced disability premium

You can get an enhanced disability premium as well as the disability or disabled child premium if the person (adult or child) gets one of the following:

  • the highest rate care component of DLA(C)
  • the enhanced daily living component of PIP
  • Armed Forces Independence Payment (AFIP)
  • in receipt of the Support Component of ESA and are the claimant if part of a couple

The enhanced disability premium rate is £26.60 a week for a child, £17.10 for a single person and £26.60 if you are one of a couple. You get the couples rate even if one of you is disabled or ill.

Severe disability premium

People will get a severe disability premium if no-one is getting carer’s allowance for them, they live alone and they get one of the following benefits:

  • DLA(C) at the middle or highest rate
  • Attendance Allowance (AA)
  • Personal Independence Payment (PIP)
  • Armed Forces Independence Payment (AFIP)

The severe disability premium rate is £66.95 a week for a single person and £133.90 if both the person claiming and their partner meet the conditions.

Carer’s premium

You will get a carer’s premium if either you or your partner get Carer’s Allowance or the carer’s element of Universal Credit (or are entitled to it but don’t get it because of other benefits).

The premium goes to the carer not the person cared for.

If you claim Carer’s Allowance, the person you care for will not qualify for severe disability premium unless they are one of a couple who both qualify and the other person is not being cared for by someone one claiming Carer’s Allowance.

If the person you care for dies, carer’s premium will continue for 8 weeks. The 8 weeks starts on the Sunday following the death or from the date of the death, if it’s a Sunday.

If the entitlement to Carer’s Allowance ends for any other reason, the premium continues for 8 weeks.

The carer’s premium rate is £37.50 a week.


You and your partner’s income and savings

You and any partner’s income and savings will affect how much Housing Benefit you can get. To find out more, see income and savings.

Other adults’ income

The income of any other adults in your household apart from your partner might affect how much Housing Benefit you can get. To find out more, see other adults.

The number of children who live with you

You get more Housing Benefit if you have children or are responsible for children who live with you. Where children spend time in more than one home, we normally count them as living with the person who gets child benefit for them.

People making new claims can usually only get extra benefit for up to 2 children. This is because of the April 2017 changes to Child Tax Credit. We can only give extra benefit for a third child if HMRC makes a tax credit award for the child.

All children in your household will be taken into account when deciding how many bedrooms your household needs regardless of whether you get tax credit for them or not so it is important that you still tell us about all the children who live with you.

Local Housing Allowance and Rent Officer valuations - renting from private landlords

Local Housing Allowance (LHA) rules set out the maximum amount of Housing Benefit we can pay in each area for most privately rented properties. Some types of property are not covered by LHA. For these types of property, the rent officer gives us a maximum amount. To find out more, see LHA and rent officer valuations

Under occupancy rules - renting from social landlords or housing associations

Under-occupancy (bedroom tax) rules apply to Housing Benefit if you rent from a social landlord or housing association. To find out more, see under occupancy rules.

Any rent-free weeks

Where a tenancy agreement includes rent-free weeks, we work out a weekly figure to base Housing Benefit on. We do this by taking the total amount of rent paid in a year and dividing it by 52.

Further information, help and support

For details of organisations who can give you advice about money matters and help you apply for benefits, see Live Well applying for welfare benefits.

For an estimate of how much benefit you might get, you can use the entitled to online benefits calculator.