From 1 April 2013 if you are of working age (under 61 and six months by April 2013), and you receive housing benefit, your housing benefit may be reduced. Your housing benefit will be based on the size of home you need, not how much your rent is.
The amount of housing benefit paid depends on whether – according to the government – you have more bedrooms than you need. If you are under-occupying your home (which means you have more bedrooms than you need), you will lose some of your housing benefit.
To help identify if you are affected please see our bedroom calculator.
What if you lose housing benefit?
If you don’t pay your rent, you could lose your home. So if you are worried about how you will afford your rent after April 2013, ask for advice now.
You could consider doing the following things to make your rent more affordable.
– Start to save now so that you have money later on to afford the extra costs. Even if you don’t have a bank account you can join North Birmingham Community Credit Union and save with them.
– Ask a friend or relative to move in with you and pay a contribution towards your rent
– Check that you are claiming all the benefits you can. We can give you advice on benefits too
– Find some paid work to increase your income
– Try transferring to a home with fewer bedrooms
– Contact us and ask for advice.