Housing Benefit and Council Tax Support are means tested financial assistance towards paying your rent and your Council Tax.
If you are in receipt of Income Support, JobSeekers Allowance (Income based) or Employment & Support (Income Related) you will receive maximum eligible Housing Benefit and Council Tax Support based on 90% of your Council Tax charge. If you are a pension age claimant in receipt of Pension Credit Guarantee you will receive full Housing Benefit and Council Tax Support.
If you are on any other benefits or have a low income we do an assessment based on the means testing rules. This is explained below.
A means test is a comparison with what monies you, and a partner if applicable, have coming into your household against what the government set as a figure someone in your circumstances can live off (we call this an ‘Applicable Amount’).
- We have rules that tell us how income is to be worked out.
- The ‘applicable amount’ takes into account your personal circumstances (for example the figure would be different for a single person to that of a couple with two children) and is up-rated every year in line with inflation.
Your income is compared against this ‘Applicable Amount’ and the higher your income when compared to the ‘applicable amount’ the less Housing Benefit and Council Tax Support you get.
Additional points to note
If you have savings, investments or money in the bank this can also effect the amount of Housing Benefit and Council Tax Support you get. Visit our Capital Savings page for more details.