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Benefits Information

 

Information about Local Housing Allowance

How Local Housing Allowance works

LHA is based upon the number of bedrooms the claimant or their household need. The LHA room rates are set by the Rent Service and this rate is equivalent to the maximum amount of Housing Benefit that can be paid to the claimant. The actual amount of Housing Benefit that will be awarded will be based on the LHA room rate that applies to the claimant's household and their circumstances.
The amount of rent used when working out the claimant's benefit is either their actual rent, or the relevant LHA room rate, whichever is the lower.
The LHA rate used when calculating the claimant's Housing Benefit is based on the room rate that the Rent Service has set. This rate will be reassessed every April, unless there is a change in the size of their household, which means a different LHA rate should be used.

Room Rates

The LHA rate is based on the number of bedrooms that are needed by the household and not the number of bedrooms in the property or the actual rent.
LHA rates will be updated every April.
The most number of bedrooms payable under the LHA scheme is limited to the 4 Bedroom rate. This means that if your circumstances are such that you require 5 bedrooms or more, your Housing Benefit award will be restricted to the 4 Bedroom rate.
There is a restriction for claimants who are under 35 years old, are single and do not have any dependents or non-dependants as they can only get the LHA shared accommodation rate. The restriction does not apply if a claimant is over 35 years old.

The maximum weekly Local Housing Allowance (LHA) rates for Sheffield (calendar monthly figure is shown in brackets) are:

How Housing Benefit is paid under the LHA scheme

Under the LHA rules Housing Benefit is paid to the claimant, unless they are likely to have difficulty paying their rent; they are more than 8 weeks in arrears with their rent (this can include rent payable in advance); or they are on Income Support or Job Seekers Allowance and deductions from this benefit are being made to pay off rent arrears.

Information about Universal Credit

Universal Credit is a new social security benefit that will begin to be introduced in October 2013 and will replace 6 existing benefits with a simpler, single monthly payment if you're out of work or on a low income. Universal Credit will help you to be better off in work, start a new job or work more hours. Universal Credit will eventually replace:

How much you'll receive depends on your personal circumstances. Universal Credit will be paid on a monthly basis, and will include any support for housing costs you're entitled to. Universal Credit is paid differently to current benefits. It will be paid once a month into your bank, building society or Post Office account. Any help you get with your rent will be included within your Universal Credit payment each month and you will then be responsible to pay your own rent.

 


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