This page is targeted at housing professionals. Our main site is at www.shelter.org.uk

Treatment of capital 2019/20

This content applies to England

The capital that is taken into account in the calculation of housing benefit .

Capital means savings, investments and the value of property or land owned but not occupied by the claimant.

For claimants who are in a couple the capital of her/his partner is also taken into account.

See Capital and income for more information about how capital is assessed.

Under the cut-off age for working age housing benefit

For a claimant under the cut-off age for working age housing benefit:[1]

  • first £6,000 of capital is not counted
  • capital between £6,000 and £16,000 is taken into account at a tariff income of £1 per week for each £250 (or part of £250) of capital over £6,000
  • capital over £16,000 is not eligible for housing benefit.

Over the cut-off age for working age housing benefit

For a claimant over the cut-off age for working age housing benefit:[2]

  • first £10,000 of capital is not counted
  • capital between £10,000 and £16,000 is taken into account at a tariff income of £1 per week for each £500 (or part of £500) of capital over £10,000
  • capital over £16,000 is not eligible for housing benefit unless claimant is in receipt of pension credit (guarantee) where there is no upper limit.

Residential care homes

For a claimant of working age is in a residential care home:[3]

  • first £10,000 of capital is not counted
  • capital between £10,000 and £16,000 is taken into account at a tariff income of £1 per week for each £250 (or part of £250) of capital over £10,000
  • capital over £16,000 is not eligible for housing benefit.

The cut-off age for working age housing benefit

With effect from 6 April 2010 the age at which a claimant, whether male or female, ceased to be a housing benefit claimant of working age increased in line with the state pension age for women.[4]

The state pension age for:[5]

  • women increased from 60 to 65 in the period up to April 2018
  • men and women will increase from 65 to 66 between April 2018 and October 2020
  • men and women will increase to 67 between 2026 and 2028.

The Gov.uk state pension calculator can be used to calculate a claimant's pension age.

[1] reg 52(1) Housing Benefit Regulations 2006 SI 2006/213.

[2] regs 29(2) and 43 Housing Benefit Regulations (State Pension Credit) 2006 SI 2006/214.

[3] reg 52(3)-(9) Housing Benefit Regulations 2006 SI 2006/213.

[4] Social Security (Equalisation of State Pension Age) Regulations 2009 SI 2009/1488.

[5] Pension Acts 2011 and 2014.

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