What LHA rate am I entitled to?
The maximum amount of Housing Benefit you can get depends on:
- The number of bedrooms you need
- The area you live in
- The rate set by the Valuation Office Agency (VOA) for this number of bedrooms for the area you live in
The rates that are set by the VOA are the maximum amounts, the actual amount of entitlement will depend on your personal and financial situation.
Number of rooms
The maximum rate for Local Housing Allowance is the four-bedroom Local Housing Allowance rate. If your family needs 5 or more bedrooms, you will be restricted to the 4 bedroom rate.
We will decide how many rooms according to the Housing Benefit rules you need.
- If you live in one room and share some facilities (for example a kitchen or bathroom) with other people, you will only receive the rate for shared accommodation.
- If you are under 35 and live on your own, you will only be entitled to the rate for shared accommodation.
- Single claimants aged 35 and over, care leavers aged 22 and under and childless couples will qualify for the one bedroom rate of LHA, but if you choose to live in shared accommodation you will only receive the rate for shared accommodation.
- If you are severely disabled, or live with a severely disabled partner, and have no dependent children, your benefit will be based on the one bedroom Local Housing Allowance rate.
If the above categories do not apply to you, we will work out your number of rooms as one bedroom for each of the following:
- a couple
- a person over 16
- two children of the same sex aged under 16
- two children of any sex who are younger than 10
- any other single child under 16
You may also be allowed an additional bedroom if:
- you or your partner need overnight care from someone who doesn't normally live with you
- you are an approved foster carer and either have a foster child or children living with you or you are waiting for a child/children to be placed with you
- your children are unable to share a bedroom because of severe disabilities – we will assess your individual circumstances and decide where it is inappropriate for the children to be expected to share a room
Please note if you have an adult child or children who are away from home serving as a member of the Armed Forces, a bedroom will continue to be allowed for them as long as they have an intention to return to your property.
You can use the online LHA bedroom calculator to check your bedroom entitlement.
Current Local Housing Allowance rates are available on the LHA rates page.
If your rent is higher than the Local Housing Allowance
The maximum benefit you will receive is the LHA rate for the size of your household in your area. If your rent is more than this figure, you will need to make up this shortfall yourself.
If you are having difficulties, you may be able to apply for a Discretionary Housing Payment.
If your rent is lower than the Local Housing Allowance
The maximum Housing Benefit you can receive will not be more than your rent.
Examples of Local Housing Allowance calculations
Example - LHA is less than the rent
Ryan lives with his 2 children, Alison who is 4 and Luke who is 10. They require a three bedroom property, so the three bedroom LHA rate will apply. In this example the three bedroom LHA rate is £167.31 per week. The rent for the property is £750 per month, which works out at £173.08 per week.
As the LHA rate is lower than the rent we will calculate Ryan's benefit based on £167.31 per week.
Example - LHA is the same as the rent
Brooke and Nathan live with their two female children, Rachael and Peyton, twins aged 5. They require a two bedroom property, so the two bedroom LHA rate will apply. In this example the LHA rate is £120 per week. The rent for their property is £520 per month, which works out at £120 per week.
As the LHA rate is the same as the rent we will calculate Brooke and Nathan's benefit based on £120 per week.
Example - LHA is more than rent
Charlotte lives with her 5 month old baby, John. They require a two bedroom property, so the two bedroom LHA rate will apply. In this example the LHA rate is £144.23 per week. The rent for their property is £600 per month which works out at £138.46 per week.
Even though Charlotte has found a property cheaper than the LHA rate, we cannot pay more than the rent so we will calculate Charlotte's benefit based on £138.46 per week.
Example - a couple living in a three bedroom property, when they are only entitled to two bedrooms
Emma and Daniel live with their 5 year old daughter, Samantha. They rent a three bedroom property, with a rent of £750 per month, which works out at £173.08 per week. Under LHA rules, they require a two bedroom property, so the two bedroom LHA rate will apply. In this example the LHA rate is £150 per week.
As their rent is more than the LHA rate, we will calculate Emma and Daniel's benefit based on £150 per week, meaning they would have to pay a top up of at least £23.08 per week.
Example - a couple living in a two bedroom property, when they are entitled to three bedrooms
Sophie and Oliver live with their two children Ellie, 12, and Carl, 8. They rent a two bedroom property, with a rent of £525 per month, which works out at £121.15 per week. Under LHA rules, they require a three bedroom property, so the three bedroom LHA rate will apply. In this example the LHA rate is £138.46 per week.
Even though Sophie and Oliver have found a property cheaper than the LHA rate, we cannot pay more than the rent so we will calculate their benefit based on £121.15 per week.
Phone: 01304 872199