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Housing benefit calculation rates 2018 to 2019

This content applies to England

Housing benefit calculation rates including applicable amounts, treatment of capital, disregards, non-dependant and other deductions.

Commencement dates 2018 to 2019

These figures come into effect as follows:

  • Sunday 1 April 2018 - where rent is payable monthly or at any interval which is not a week or multiples of a week
  • Monday 2 April 2018 - where rent is payable at intervals of a week or multiples of a week.

Detailed guidance from the Department for Work and Pensions on the 2018/19 up-rating is contained in HB Circular A10/2017.

Housing benefit applicable amounts 2018 to 2019

The claimant's applicable amount is the figure set by the Department for Work and Pensions to reflect the basic living needs of the claimant and their family. The 'applicable amount' is calculated by adding together the relevant 'personal allowances' and 'premiums'.

See Calculation of housing benefit for more information about how to calculate housing benefit.

Applicable amounts: personal allowances

Pension age

Prior to 6 December 2018, the personal allowance rate for a person who has reached pension age applied to those 'aged 65 or over'.

Dependent child/young person aged under 20


From 6 April 2017, there is a two-child or young person limit on the number of personal allowances awarded (for dependent children/young persons) unless either of these exemptions apply:[1]

  1. the claimant was receiving a personal allowance for three or more children on 5 April 2017
  2. three or more children are included in the assessment of the claimant's child tax credit (CTC) claim.

Table: Personal allowances

Single person £ per week
Aged under 25 57.90
Any age and on main phase employment and support allowance (ESA) 73.10
Aged between 25 and state pension credit age 73.10
Aged over state pension credit age but under 65 163.00
Has reached pension age 176.40
Lone parent £ per week
Aged under 18 57.90
Any age and on main phase ESA 73.10
Aged between 18 and state pension credit age 73.10
Aged over state pension credit age but under 65 163.00
Has reached pension age 176.40
Couple £ per week
Both aged under 18 87.50
One or both aged between 18 and state pension credit age 114.85
Any age and on main phase ESA 114.85
One or both over state pension credit age, but both aged under 65 248.80
One or both have reached pension age 263.80
Other £ per week
Dependent child/young person aged under 20  66.90

Applicable amounts: premiums

Some claimants qualify for one or more additional amounts called premiums. Entitlement to some premiums is triggered by certain qualifying social security benefits. There are no limitations on how many premiums can be awarded to a claimant.

Family premium

From 1 May 2016, only an existing claimant who already qualified for the family premium is entitled to have this premium included in their applicable amount. If such a claimant then ceases to qualify for the family premium s/he cannot qualify for it again at a later date.[2]

Family premium (lone parent)

Only applies to lone parents who fulfilled certain conditions before 6 April 1998 and if certain changes of circumstances have not occurred after that date.[3]

Table: Premiums

Type of premium £ per week
Family premium 17.45
Family premium (lone parent) 22.20
Disabled child premium (for each child) 62.86
Carer premium 36.00
Disability premium for single claimant 33.55
Disability premium for a couple 47.80
Enhanced disability premium for single claimant 16.40
Enhanced disability premium for a couple 23.55
Enhanced disability premium for a child 25.48
Severe disability premium for single claimant 64.30
Severe disability premium for a couple (one qualifies) 64.30
Severe disability premium for a couple (both qualify) 128.60
For certain claimants in receipt of ESA £ per week
Work related activity component 29.05
Support component 37.65

Treatment of capital 2018 to 2019

The whole of a claimant's and their 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 Capital and income for more information about how capital is assessed.

Under the cut-off age for working age housing benefit

Under regulation 52(1) Housing Benefit Regulations 2006 SI 2006/213, for a claimant under the cut-off age for working age housing benefit:

  • 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

Under regulations 29(2) and 43, Housing Benefit Regulations (State Pension Credit) 2006 SI 2006/214, for a claimant over the cut-off age for working age housing benefit:

  • 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

Under regulation 52(3)-(9) Housing Benefit Regulations 2006 SI 2006/213, for a claimant of working age who is in a residential care home:

  • 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.

The state pension age for:

  • women increases 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.

Housing benefit disregards 2018 to 2019

The calculation of housing benefit takes into account the claimant's financial resources. Certain earnings, income and capital are disregarded. See the Calculation of housing benefit section for more information about the rules for calculating housing benefit.

Please note that the Housing Benefit Regulations allow for more disregards than are shown on this page.

Table: Main earnings disregards

Claimant is £ per week
Single person 5.00
Couple 10.00
Lone parent 25.00
In special occupations/circumstances 20.00
On ESA(C), IB or SDA and does permitted work (higher disregard) 125.50
On ESA(C), IB or SDA and does permitted work (lower disregard) 20.00
Disregards on top of above £ per week
Child care charges (1 child) up to 175.00
Child care charges (2 or more children) up to 300.00
Additional earnings (16 to 30 hours work) 17.10

Table: Main income disregards (excluding earnings)

Type of income £ per week
Actual income from capital In full
Social fund payments In full
Disability living allowance In full
Attendance allowance In full
Mobility supplements In full
Guardian's allowance In full
Fostering allowance In full
Education maintenance allowances/bursaries/grants In full
New deal In full
Employment Zone grants and premiums In full
Charitable payments In full
Child maintenance payments In full
Adult maintenance disregard In full
War disablement pension 10.00 (some local authorities disregard in full)
War widow's pension 10.00 (some local authorities disregard in full)
Pensions to Victims of National Socialist persecution In full
Armed Forces Compensation Scheme 10.00
Student loan 10.00
Student's covenanted income 5.00
Income from a sub-tenant 20.00
Income from a boarder 20.00 + 50% of any excess over 20.00
Child benefit In full

Table: Main capital disregards

Type of capital £ per week
The claimant's home In full
The claimant's personal possessions In full
Money for home purchase for a limited period In full
Certain compensation payments In full
Money held in occupational and personal pensions In full
Business assets of a self-employed claimant In full
Life insurance policies' annuities or surrender value In full
Social fund payments and loans In full

Housing benefit deductions 2018 to 2019 

Deductions for non-dependants, meals and fuel charges applicable when calculating housing benefit.

Non-dependant deductions

It is assumed that a non-dependant adult living with the claimant will make contributions towards the rent, whether such contributions are made or not, and therefore housing benefit is reduced by an amount as set out below. Deductions are made per each non-dependant adult (ie son, daughter, friend or relative living with the claimant) as detailed in the table below.

See Non-dependant deductions for more information.

Weekly gross income £ per week
£439 or more 98.30
between £354 and £438.99 89.55
between £265 and £353.99 78.65
between £204 and £264.99 48.05
between £139 and £203.99 35.00
under £139 15.25
Other circumstances £ per week
aged between 25 or over and on income support (IS) or income-based jobseeker's allowance (JSA[IB]) 15.25
aged 25 or over and on income-related ESA (ESA[IR]) (assessment phase) 15.25
aged 18 or over and on ESA[IR] (main phase) 15.25
aged between 18 or over and not in paid work 15.25
No deduction made £ per week
aged under 25 and on IS or JSA[IB] Nil
aged under 25 and on ESA[IR] (assessment phase) Nil
aged under 18 Nil
in receipt of pension credit Nil
in hospital for 52 weeks or more Nil
in prison Nil
receives a youth training allowance Nil

Meals deductions

Housing benefit does not cover charges for meals. If these are included in the rent, a deduction is made from the claimant's rent when calculating housing benefit. If known, the actual amount of the charges is deducted; otherwise the fixed weekly amounts as set out below are deducted.

See Service charges under housing benefit for more information.

For each adult aged 16 or over £ per week
Three or more meals a day 27.90
Less than three meals a day 18.60
Breakfast only 3.45
For each child aged under 16 £ per week
Three or more meals a day 14.15
Less than three meals a day 9.35
Breakfast only 3.45

Fuel charge deductions

Housing benefit does not normally cover water rates, fuel costs or certain other services. If these are included in the rent, a deduction is made from the claimant's rent when calculating housing benefit. If known, the actual amount of the charges is deducted; otherwise the fixed weekly amounts as set out below are deducted.

See Service charges under housing benefit for more information.

Claimant occupies more than one room £ per week
For heating 30.30
For hot water 3.50
For lighting 2.40
For cooking 3.50
Total for all the above 37.80
Claimant occupies one room only £ per week
For heating, hot water and lighting 18.10
For cooking 3.50

[1] regs 7 and 9 Social Security (Restrictions on Amounts for Children and Qualifying Young Persons) Amendment Regulations 2017 SI 2017/376.

[2] reg 2 Housing Benefit (Abolition of the Family Premium and date of claim) (Amendment) Regulations 2015 SI 2015/1857.

[3] para 3.3 Sch.3 Housing Benefit Regulations 2006 SI 2006/213.

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