Housing Costs Contributions and Non-dependents

What is a non-dependent?

A non-dependent is someone aged over 18 who lives in your home and is not a member of your family for benefit purposes (ie a partner or dependent child or young person) and is not a boarder or lodger. Non-dependents are often other family members such as elderly relatives or adult children but could also be family friends. image

How do non-dependents contribute to housing costs at present?

Under the current benefits system your Housing Benefit, Council Tax Support and mortgage interest payments paid with a means-tested benefit may be reduced in some circumstances as the non-dependent may be expected to contribute towards your costs.

If you or your partner has a disability and

  • Is registered blind or has regained their sight in the last 6 months
  • Or receives the care component of DLA (any rate)
  • Or receives Attendance Allowance
  • Or receives the Daily Living Component (either rate) of Personal Independence Payment (PIP) or armed forces independence payment

then there is no reduction made for the non-dependent. It is important that you inform the relevant benefit authority when you are awarded any of these benefits so that they can stop the non-dependent reduction.   If you feel that a mistake has been made about this you should seek advice.

Some other non-dependents are also exempt. These are:

  • Full-time students during term-time and holidays if they are not working
  • People who are aged under 25 who are claiming Income based JSA, Income Support, Income related ESA for up to 13 weeks and Universal Credit
  • People who get Pension Credit

How much does the non-dependent have to pay?

Weekly income before Tax Weekly deduction from Housing Benefit and mortgage interest payments Weekly deduction from Council Tax Support Coventry and Birmingham
Less than £136 £14.80 £3.74
£136 – £199.99 £34.00 £3.74
£200 – £258.99 £46.65 £7.52
£259- £345.99 £76.35 £7.52
£346 – £429.99 £86.95 £9.49
£430 or more £95.45 £11.36

What Happens to Non-Dependent Deductions under Universal Credit?

If you claim Universal Credit Non Dependent deductions are called Housing Costs Contributions. No contribution is due if:

If you or your partner has a disability and

  • Is registered blind or has regained their sight in the last 6 months
  • Or receives the care component of DLA (any rate)
  • Or receives Attendance Allowance
  • Or receives the Daily Living Component (either rate) of Personal Independence Payment (PIP) or armed forces independence payment
  • Or is unable to receive one of these benefits due to being in hospital

If the non-dependent fits into any of the following categories then no non-dependent deduction will be due:

  • Anyone aged under 21
  • Anyone aged under 25 who is entitled to Universal Credit and has no earned income
  • Lone Parents with a child aged under 5
  • Anyone getting Pension Credit
  • Anyone getting middle or high rate care component of Disability Living Allowance
  • Anyone getting Attendance Allowance
  • Anyone getting daily living component of Personal Independence Payment
  • Anyone getting Carers Allowance
  • Prisoners on temporary release
  • A member of the armed forces away on operations if this is a child or stepchild of the responsible person and they lived in the house before going on operations and intend to return to the property at the end of operations.

For everyone else there is a single rate of the Housing Costs Contribution which is set at £70.06 per month. This is payable per person so in the case of a couple living in the accommodation then potentially two Housing Cost Contributions will be due.

What if a non-dependent refuses to contribute?

The sum will be deducted regardless of whether you are able to collect this sum from the non-dependent and this could cause you to get into arrears with your rent, council tax or mortgage interest.

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