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Coronavirus advice and information

What you need to know about Housing Benefit and Council Tax Support

When your claim will start

We will usually start paying your benefit from the Monday after we receive your claim form. If your circumstances change and you are no longer entitled to Housing Benefit and/or Council Tax Support, we will normally stop payment at the end of the same week.

You must tell us about any changes that could affect your benefits.


The calculation we use to work out your Housing Benefit/Council Tax Support. This must include the income of both you and your partner.

Net earnings

Your net earnings are the earnings of both you and your partner after taking away national insurance, tax and half of any contributions to a company or personal pension scheme.


This is all the savings and investments you and your partner have in any bank or building society, shares, income bonds, National Savings certificates, premium bonds, etc.

We ignore your first £6,000 of capital when we calculate Housing Benefit if you are of working age. For every £250 or part of £250 over £6,000, we add £1 a week to your overall income. This is called your tariff income.

If you are aged 60 or over, the tariff income on your savings is £1 for every £500 or part of £500 above £10,000.

If you have capital above £16,000, you cannot claim Housing Benefit and/or Council Tax Support.

Income disregard - ignoring certain types of income

We ignore part, or all of certain types of income. This known as an income disregard.

For example, we ignore:

  • All maintenance received for children (we do not ignore this for council tax support)
  • All war disablement pensions
  • Attendance Allowance
  • Mobility Allowance
  • Disability Living Allowance
  • Guardian's Allowance
  • Personal Independence Payment (PIP)

However, we still need to know if you are receiving these benefits.

We also ignore a part of your earnings. We ignore the first:

  • £5 a week for a single person
  • £10 a week for couples
  • £20 a week for people in certain jobs, people who are disabled, long term sick or receiving Carers Allowance,
  • £25 a week for lone parents

Families can have up to £300 of their earnings ignored, as long as they meet certain conditions and are paying childcare costs to a registered childminder or nursery for children under 16.

Applicable amounts

These are set amounts the Government says people need to live on.

The applicable amount is made up of a personal allowance and premiums.

Premiums are amounts, which may be added if you are disabled, over 60, a single parent or if you have children.

We compare your applicable amount with your total income to see how much benefit you should get.

Eligible Council Tax

This is the amount of Council Tax, less any reductions you are entitled to, such as single person discount.


If you're a private tenant we do not use the actual amount of rent you pay to work out your Housing Benefit. We use the Local Housing Allowance Rates rate for the type of property your circumstances mean you could live in. This might be a one-bed flat if you are single and aged over 35 or a two-bed flat or a house if you have a child or children.

If you are single and between the age of 25 and 35 we use the Local Housing Allowance rate for a shared room in a house unless you receive the care element of Disability Living Allowance or Personal Independence Payment.

The Valuation Office Agency (VOA) sets the local housing allowance rates for Waverley. These rates change in April each year.

If you do not get Local Housing Allowance, we will be using the rent you actually pay to calculate your benefit unless the rent officer has restricted this. We use rent officer referrals to work out your rent if you pay ground rent on a mobile home, or if your rent includes care and support charges.

If you pay your rent to the Waverley Borough Council or a housing association, we will use the gross rent you pay to calculate your benefit minus any charges for services such as a garage, heating, lighting or water for your own property. We may also restrict the amount of benefit that you get if you have more bedrooms than you need. This is known as the social sector size criteria (bedroom tax).


If you receive Housing Benefit or Council Tax Support the Government says we must take off an amount for people over 18 (other than your partner) who live in your home, unless you are receiving Disability Living Allowance with the care component, Attendance Allowance or the daily living component of Personal Independence Payment.

This is because these people should normally be paying money towards household expenses. We take off these amounts whether the non-dependants actually contribute or not.

The amount we take off depends on the non-dependant's age, if they are working and how much they earn. We do not make a deduction if they are receiving benefits such as income based Jobseeker's Allowance or income-related Employment Support Allowance or Pension Credits.

Second Adult Rebate

Second Adult Rebate can help you pay less Council Tax if you are a single pensioner. 

  • You can claim Second Adult Rebate if there are other people living in your home who are on a low income.
  • Second Adult Rebate is not based on the money or savings you have, but on the money other people (ie. second adults) who live with you have.
  • You may still be able to get it if you have more than £16,000 in savings.
  • You cannot claim Second Adult Rebate if you are married or have a partner.

You cannot get Council Tax Support and Second Adult Rebate at the same time. If you qualify for both we will give you the one that pays the most.

Benefit Cap

The benefit cap is a limit on the total amount of benefit that most people aged 16 to 64 can get.

The amount your household gets from some benefits might go down to make sure you don't get more than the cap limit.

Visit the benefit cap page on the GOV.UK website for more information.


Private tenants receive their housing benefit by BACS payment direct to a bank account every fortnight (two weeks in arrears). If we are paying your landlord, they will receive your benefit every four weeks in arrears.

If you are a council tenant your rent is paid directly to your Waverley Borough Council rent account weekly.

The minimum Housing Benefit we can pay is 50p. If you get Council Tax Support or Second Adult Rebate, we will take the amount of support off the amount of Council Tax you are due to pay for the year.

Changes in circumstances

During the time you are receiving benefit you may have certain changes in your circumstances such as a change of job, the receipt of another state benefit or someone moving in or out of your home.

You must notify the council of all changes in your circumstances as soon as they happen.

Decisions about your claim

We make our decisions based on the Government's Housing Benefit regulations. We regulate decisions on Council Tax Support. We must manage the Housing Benefit and Council Tax Support service within these rules.

It is important that if there is something you do not agree with or if you think that we have worked out your Housing Benefit/Council Tax Support incorrectly, you write and tell us (you can send an email to We must receive your letter or email within one month of the date on the top of your benefit notification letter.

Page owner: . Last updated: 26/04/2018 11:04

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