In April 2013 new rules in Housing Benefit were introduced for working-age people living in social housing. The Government no longer pay for bedrooms that they decide you do not need. This creates a shortfall in the help you get towards your rent, which you have to meet yourself.
You may find that taking up employment or increasing your current working hours may help you make up some or all of the difference between your rent and Housing Benefit.
If you want to take up part-time work, you will have an Earning Allowance. This allowance is an amount of your earnings that does not affect your Housing Benefit.
The design of the current tax and benefit system means that if you move into work of 16 hours or more per week, you should see a large increase in your total income.
|Single People||First £5 of earnings|
|Couples||First £10 of earnings|
|Disabled/carers||First £20 of earnings|
|Single parents||First £25 of earnings|
Tax Credits & additional incentives
Tax credits provide more help than out-of-work benefits and more than minimum earnings alone.
Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit may also be available to those who are in full time work, to help ensure that your net income after rent is higher than out-of-work benefits.
There are also financial incentives to encourage people back into work:
- In-Work Credit designed to help lone parents cope with the financial aspects of the transition in to work;
- Housing Benefit, Council Tax Benefit and mortgage interest run-ons paid for up to four weeks after people move from IS or JSA into work;
- Job Grant which provides a non-taxable payment of £100 for single people and couples without children, and £250 for lone parents and couples with children.
The way that earnings or extra earnings affect people both in work and out of work and in receipt of benefits, depends very much on a person’s home circumstances and how many hours they work. It can also become complicated when trying to see how benefits and tax credits interact.
If you have a job in mind or would like to work out how you might make yourself better off in work we would encourage you to use the Benefits Adviser calculator; the link for it is below:
If you would like to discuss any of the above please contact your Housing Officer.