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.

Key advice

  • 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
From £420 £94.50

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

Overpayments

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.