How other people in your home affect your claim

Non-dependant

Classified as a person aged 18 or over who lives in your home, or is using your home as their main home on a non-commercial basis. For example, an adult son, daughter, relative or friend can be a non-dependant.

A non-dependant does not have to be a family member. Boarders, subtenants and joint tenants are not non-dependants.

Will my award be affected if I have a non-dependant living with me?

It might be. The government expects non-dependants to pay a share of your housing costs and your Council Tax, and lays down set amounts which we must take off your Housing Benefit and Council Tax Support in some cases.

If you have a non-dependant living in your home, we may have to reduce your benefit. This is called a non-dependant deduction.

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Do I have to make my non-dependant pay a share?

It's up to you. But, whatever you do, the law says we have to take a fixed amount off your award each week.

The non-dependant deduction is based on their gross weekly income - that is, their pay before deductions like tax and National Insurance, and any other income they have, including any benefits they get.

Even if they pay you nothing, we usually have to make the deduction unless certain rules apply. Please check the section called 'Are there any cases where you do not make a deduction from my award for non-dependants'.

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Does the money non-dependants pay for their keep count as income for the person claiming Housing Benefit and Council Tax Support?

No, this money is not treated as your income. Instead, a fixed deduction is made from your Housing Benefit and Council Tax Support, based on the non-dependant's gross weekly income.

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What should I do if I have a non-dependant living with me?

You should let us know if somebody has moved into your home because it may affect your entitlement. And, for the same reason, you should also let us know if someone moves out.

If you have a non-dependant who changes jobs, or has an increase or decrease in their earnings or income, you should also let us know because it may reduce or increase the deduction we make.

If your non-dependant receives any state benefits, we might have to take these into account so please let us know. If there are any changes at all in your non-dependants' circumstances, you should let us know straightaway. If you're not sure, just check with us.

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Do I need to provide proof of my non-dependant's income?

Yes, you usually have to provide proof of your non-dependant's income. We need to see proof of their income so that we can deduct the correct amount.

If we do not get that information, we will have to take the highest amount off your benefit, which will increase the amount of rent or Council Tax (or both) you have to pay.

Here are some examples of proof of income that non-dependants can supply:

  • An award letter from Jobcentre Plus, or a payment book showing what benefits they receive Payslips.
  • A completed employer's certificate of earnings (We have a supply of certificate of earnings forms).
  • A set of accounts, if your non-dependant is self-employed.
  • A student award letter if they are a student.

We will write and let you know how their income affects your benefit.

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Are there any cases where you do not make a deduction for non-dependants?

Yes there are. We will not make a deduction if:

  • You, or your partner, are receiving Attendance Allowance
  • You, or your partner, are registered blind.
  • You, or your partner, receive the care part of Disability Living Allowance.
  • Your non-dependant is on Income Support or income-based Jobseeker's Allowance and they are under 25 (this is only for Housing Benefit).
  • Your non-dependant is a full-time student, or receives a work-based training allowance.
  • Your non-dependant is in hospital for six weeks or more.
  • Your non-dependant is in prison, or normally lives elsewhere; or your non-dependant gets Pension Credit.

You can always check with us if you're not sure.

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What can I do if I don't agree with your decision?

If you don't agree with our decision, you can ask us to look at it again. Our letters tell you what your rights are and more information is available via our appeals page.

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