Can I Claim Benefit?

How much Benefit could I get?

When we work out your benefit we take into account

  • how much income you have coming in each week or month (earnings and/or benefits)

If you are of a working age there will be a cap on the amount of benefits that you can get. It currently stands at £500 per week for couples and lone parents or £350 per week for single adults.

  • how much you have in savings and investments
  • who lives in your household and their circumstances. In some circumstances there will be deductions from your benefit if you have an adult non dependant living with you.
  • how much rent and Council Tax you have to pay
  • whether you are of pension age or working age 
  • how many rooms you need for your household (Housing Benefit only)

Renting from South Essex Homes or Housing Associations

If you are working age - the amount that you are awarded for Housing Benefit depends on the number of rooms you are allowed for your family circumstances, this is known as Size Criteria. If you are considered to have:

  • 1 extra bedroom you will have a 14% reduction on your Housing Benefit
  • 2 or more extra bedrooms you will have a 25% reduction to your Housing Benefit

You will have to make up the difference yourself.

You are allowed one bedroom for:

  • every adult couple (married or unmarried)
  • any other adult aged 16 or over
  • any two children of the same sex aged under 16
  • any two children aged under 10
  • any other child (other than a foster child or child whose main home is elsewhere)
  • children who can’t share because of a disability or medical condition
  • a carer (or team of carers) providing overnight care

One spare bedroom is allowed for:

  • an approved foster carer between placements, but only for up to 52 weeks from the end of the last placement
  • a newly approved foster carer for up to 52 weeks from the date of approval if no child is placed with them
  • a student or member of the armed forces that has a bedroom in your home but they're away

You may be allowed an extra room if:

  • you are a couple who cannot share because of a disability or medical condition
  • you’ve had a bereavement recently in your household.

Renting from a Private Landlord

If you are working age or pension age the amount you get depends on the Local Housing Allowance rate for the size property you are claiming for. The rates and are updated yearly and can be found on our website.

Calculating your Entitlement 

To find out an accurate assessment of what you could be entitled to please use the Entitled To Benefit Calculator. It will calculate what you are currently entitled to based on your circumstances.

Contact Benefits

Telephone: 01702 215001

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