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Size criteria

Please see the changes from December 2013 for severely disabled children

The size criteria for each Housing Benefit claim is based on the number of bedrooms that the you need for the size of your household. One bedroom is allowed for:

  • every adult couple
  • every other adult who is not part of a couple
  • any other adult aged 16 or over
  • any two children of the same sex
  • any two children aged under 10 regardless of their sex
  • any other child

To calculate what you would be assessed as needing please use the bedroom calculator.

Single customers

The '1 bedroom (shared)' rate of LHA shown below will be used in the Housing Benefit calculation for:

  • most single customers aged under 35, even if they actually occupy self-contained accommodation (e.g. a one-bedroom flat)
  • single customers aged 35 and over who actually occupy shared accommodation

Examples of customers who will have this rate of LHA used in their benefit calculation include:

  • joint tenants who are single and share a house or a flat with other joint tenants (e.g. they have their own bedroom but share the lounge, kitchen and bathroom)
  • tenants whose landlord lives in the same property as they do, where the tenant has their own bedroom but shared use of the lounge, kitchen and bathroom

Severely disabled children - from December 2013

Since 4th December 2013 an extra bedroom may be allowed for:

  • private tenants whose rent is restricted because their accommodation is too large
  • housing Association tenants who have a 14% or 25% rent restriction because their accommodation is too large

However, there must be a severely disabled child in the household who needs their own bedroom.

In order to qualify, the disabled child must be receiving the highest or middle rate of the care component of Disability Living Allowance and otherwise be expected to share a bedroom, and it would be unreasonable for the disabled child to share.

Each case will be considered on its own merits, so if you think you may qualify please contact the Revenues & Benefits Service for further advice.

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