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Welfare Reform

On 8 March 2012 the Welfare Reform Act received Royal Assent. The Act legislates for the biggest change to welfare reform for over 60 years.

Full information on Welfare Reform can be found on the DWP Welfare Reform website here

Under-occupation - the Bedroom Tax

The Government is reforming Housing Benefit and from 1 April 2013 the way Housing Benefit is calculated for working age tenants is changing. This will not affect pension age tenants.

Housing Benefit from 1st April 2013 will be based on the number of bedrooms the Government considers your household needs. If you have one or more extra bedrooms your Housing Benefit will be reduced - the reduction will be by the same monetary amount regardless of whether your Housing Benefit currently covers all or part of your rent.

Our bedroom calculator can be used to check how many bedrooms the Government consider you need at .

The bedroom assessment is done under Department for Work and Pensions rules, which say you are entitled to one bedroom for:

  • each couple
  • each adult (aged 16 years and over)
  • 2 children of the same gender under 16 years old
  • 2 children of different genders under 10 years old

Some examples of how many bedrooms you are entitled to:

Household composition Bedroom Entitlement
Single person or couple 1
Couple with one child 2
Single parent with a girl aged 6 and a boy aged 8 2
Couple with a girl aged 6 and a boy aged 12 3
Single parent with a boy aged 17 and boy aged 12 3
Couple with girls aged 17 and 14 and boy aged 9 4
Couple with a boy aged 8 and two girls aged 5 and 3 3

The rules are very strict so there are very few exemptions. What if I need an extra room because.....

I have a carer who stays with me overnight?

Where you have an overnight carer you will not be affected by the Housing Benefit reduction - you will need to contact us so we can check you qualify and notify Durham County Council.