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Under occupation is where the government believes you are living in a property that is bigger than you need. Because there is a shortage of family homes across the country, the government is going to reduce the amount of Housing Benefit for people who are living in social rented sector tenancies (which include local authority tenants and tenants of social housing and registered social landlords) and are under occupying.
You are classed as under occupying your home if you have more bedrooms than you need.
You need one bedroom for each of the following:
If you are classed as under occupying, the amount of Housing Benefit you receive will be reduced.
There are two rates for the reduction:
Everybody claiming Housing Benefit, who is living in a social rented sector tenancy and who is between 16 and pension age will be affected.
Those of pensionable age will be excluded from the under occupation changes.
Extra help may be made available by means of a Discretionary Housing Payment for those who are affected by this change. This money is intended primarily for:
Please note that the Discretionary Housing Payment fund has a limited budget. Once used no further money is released from central government until the next financial year.
This change happened in April 2013.
You have several options. You can:
If you require help with something in this section, please contact us.