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

Treatment of capital 2016/17

This content applies to England

The whole of a claimant's and her/his partner's capital is assessed in the calculation of housing benefit and then taken into account or disregarded following the rules on this page. 

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

See the Capital and income page 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.

Calculating 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, ceases to be a housing benefit claimant of working age increases in line with the state pension age for women.[4]

Under the Pension Act 2011, the state pension age for women will increase from 60 to 65 in the period up to April 2018. Thereafter both men's and women's state pension age will increase from 65 to 66 by October 2020.[5]

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] s.1 Pension Act 2011.

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