Housing benefit deductions when living with non-dependents.
A non-dependent deduction means that your housing benefit can be reduced if an adult friend or family member lives with you.
- Your housing benefit may be reduced if other adults live in your home
- You must tell the council if another adult is living with you
How a non-dependent deduction works
When you make a claim for housing benefit, your local council decides how much you should get.
Your housing benefit can be reduced by an amount called a non-dependent deduction if someone else living in your house could help pay the rent. This applies even if you don’t receive any payments from that person.
Living with a non-dependent may also affect the amount of council tax you pay.
Who counts as a non-dependent
A non-dependent can be a parent, child, relative or friend who lives in your home. They must be aged 18 or over.
Examples include a grown-up child who has returned to live with you after studying or a relationship breakdown.
Your council expects an adult who lives with you to pay a contribution towards your rent.
Who doesn’t count as a non-dependent
Adults who don’t count as non-defendants include:
- your partner
- a joint tenant
- temporary guest whose home is elsewhere
- a lodger
People with disabilities: exemptions from deductions
No deduction is made from your housing benefit for a non-dependent if you or your partner receive:
- the care component of disability living allowance (DLA)
- attendance allowance
- the daily living component of personal independence payment (PIP)
- armed forces independence payment
There are also no deductions if you or your partner is registered blind or has regained sight in the past 28 weeks.
When students are exempt
A non-dependent deduction doesn’t apply to a full-time student during term time or during holidays if they’re not working.
A non-dependent deduction does apply if a student works for 16 hours or more a week during the summer holidays. You may need to ask them to contribute towards your housing costs.
Non-dependent deductions when away
Your housing benefit should not be reduced if a non-dependent is away from home because they are in prison or serving in the armed forces away from home.
How much is a non-dependent deduction?
The amount of non-dependent deduction depends on how much money the non-dependent earns or the benefits they get.
Non-dependent deductions start from the date the adult moves in or turns 18.
Housing benefit reductions for non-dependents
Housing benefit reductions depend on the income of your non-dependent.
|Weekly income before tax||Amount deducted each week|
|Less than £133||£14.65|
|From £133 and less than £195||£33.65|
|From £195 and less than £253||£46.80|
|From £253 and less than £338||£75.60|
|From £338 and less than £420||£86.10|
If a non-dependent claims benefits
A non-dependent deduction doesn’t apply to a person who is under the age of 25 and claiming:
- income-based jobseeker’s allowance (JSA)
- income support (IS)
- income-related employment support allowance (ESA) for the assessment phase, this is for a maximum of 13 weeks after they claimed
It also does not apply to a person living in your home who receives pension credit.
Your housing benefit is reduced by £14.65 each week if the non-dependent is:
- aged 25 and over and on IS or income-based JSA
- aged 25 or over and on income-related ESA for the assessment phase of their claim
- any age and on income-related ESA after their work capability assessment has been carried out
It’s your responsibility to tell the council if a non-dependent lives with you.
If you don’t tell the council about non-dependents, you may have to repay overpaid benefit. You could also be prosecuted.
If a non-dependent refuses to contribute
It can cause financial problems if a non-dependent doesn’t contribute to the household budget.
Non-dependents can’t get housing benefit for their contributions to household costs.
Don’t risk rent arrears because of this. You could lose your home.
Get advice from a welfare benefits adviser. Use Shelter’s advice services directory to find a face-to-face adviser near you.