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Changes from January 2012

Prior to January 2012, most single customers aged under 25 had the rent that was used in the assessment of their Housing Benefit entitlement restricted to one bedroom in a shared property. This meant that if they actually lived in self-contained accommodation (eg a one-bedroom flat) there was likely to be a restriction on the rent used in their Housing Benefit calculation.

Since 1st January 2012 this restriction has been applied to most single customers aged under 35. The change applies to Housing Benefit claims assessed under the rules for Local Housing Allowance and to those where an individual valuation is provided by The Valuation Office Agency, and affects claims in the ways shown below.

Changes from January 2012
Type of claimHow the change affects you
New claim The restriction will apply from the start of Housing Benefit entitlement
Change of address claim The restriction will apply from the start of Housing Benefit entitlement for the new address
Existing claim from a single customer aged 25 to 34

If Housing Benefit entitlement includes nine months transitional protection from the changes introduced in April 2011, the restriction will apply from the end of the transitional protection period

For all other cases the restriction will apply from the anniversary date of the claim

The existing categories of exemption (customers who are severely disabled, care leavers up to the age of 22, customers with non-dependants and those who require an additional bedroom for an overnight carer) will continue to apply.

There will also be two new categories of exemption for those aged 25 to 34:

  • Former residents of specialist homeless hostels who have spent at least three months in such a hostel but only if the former resident has been offered and accepted support services with the aim of rehabilitating or resettling them in the community.
  • Ex-offenders who are subject to active multi-agency management under the Multi Agency Public Protection Arrangements (MAPPA)

See also: Changes from April 2011.

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