Why might my benefit be reduced?

Most adults living with you are expected to contribute towards the rent. If you claim Housing Benefit or Universal Credit Housing Cost payments, the amount you receive could be reduced regardless of whether the other person gives you a contribution towards the rent.


What is a non-dependant?

A parent, adult child, relatives or friends are all counted as non-dependants.

Adults who are not counted as non-dependants include:

  • Your partner
  • A lodger
  • Joint tenants
  • A temporary guest who lives elsewhere
  • Someone you receive child benefit for


What do I have to do?

It is your responsibility to tell the council or the Department for Work and Pensions if a non-dependant lives with you, so ensure that you report any change in circumstances straight away.


How much is a non-dependant deduction?

Housing Benefit deductions range from £0 or £14.80 per week to £95.45 per weekdepending on the non-dependants gross income, their age or whether they receive income related benefits.

Universal Credit Housing Costs Contributions are taken at a flat rate of £70.06 per month (£16.17 per week) per non-dependant.


Are there any exemptions?

Some non-dependants, such as 18-25 year olds in receipt of means tested benefits, or older people in receipt of Pension Credit do not attract a non-dependant deduction under Housing Benefit (but 18-25 year olds in the same circumstances will be expected to contribute to housing costs if you are in receipt of Universal Credit).

If you have an award of certain benefits, such as Personal Independence Payment (Daily Living or the care component of Disability Living Allowance), non-dependants are ignored for Housing Benefit purposes.

Universal Credit rules are different, and there may be other reasons why a non-dependant does not cause your payments to be reduced. If, for example, your non-dependant child or friend receives Personal Independence Payment (Daily Living), they will not be expected to make a housing costs contribution. Please contact us if you think that your benefits should not be reduced.

Remember: Non-dependant deductions apply to council tax reductions, too, and can be as high as £11.55 per week.


The non-dependant I live with refuses to contribute. What can I do?

If a non-dependant in your home refuses to contribute to the household budget it can lead to financial problems. Non-dependants are not entitled to Housing Benefit or Universal Credit for their contributions to housing costs.

If you’re worried about falling into arrears because of this, try speaking to your family member or friend and explain the situation.

A Local Authority may apply the highest non-dependant deduction of £95.45 per week if it thinks you have a non-dependant living with you but does not have evidence of their income or any exemptions. If this is the case, your Housing Benefit may drop to as low as 50p per week.


We can help

The rules around non-dependant deductions are complex and there are ways we can help if you are having difficulty supplying evidence about your non-dependant’s income.

For further support and advice, you should contact one of our benefits and money advisors.