Non-dependants are normally classed as anyone living with you aged 18 or over (21 if you are on Universal Credit).
However, this does not include children for whom you still receive Child Benefit.
The government makes the assumption that these adults will contribute towards your household costs, including rent and Council Tax. They can therefore deduct a sum of money from your Housing Benefit or Universal Credit and Council Tax Support award, and this is called a non-dependant deduction.(or for Universal Credit a Housing Costs Contribution).
These deductions are generally based on the income the non-dependant receives. It is applied regardless of whether or not they do actually give you any money for food, rent, electricity etc.
This person may, however, be classed as a lodger if they are not a close relative and they pay you on a formal basis to live in your home – the way this affects your Housing Benefit or Universal Credit and Council Tax Support is different – check the FAQs for more advice, and see the ‘Bedroom Tax’ section for things you need to consider before taking in a lodger.
The non-dependant deduction rules are complicated and the wrong deduction can sometimes be taken – making a big difference to your Housing Benefit or Universal Credit and Council Tax Support award.
Use the information below to work out if the correct deduction is being made, and if not, contact your local council.
What are the non-dependant deduction rates?
Housing Benefit rules
No non-dependant deduction will be made if you or your partner are registered blind, or getting a care component of Disability Living Allowance or a daily living component of Personal Independence Payment or Attendance Allowance, or Armed Forces Independence Payment. This is regardless of how many non-dependants you have living with you and regardless of their income.
If this does not apply to you, then the amount of non-dependant deduction taken off your Housing Benefit will depend on their circumstances, and, if they are working, their gross weekly income.
No non-dependant deduction should be taken from your Housing Benefit award where the non-dependant is:
- Only staying with you temporarily ie your home is not their normal home.
- A full time student, any age (except when they’re working 16 or more hours a week during the summer holidays).
- Under 25 and on Income-Based Jobseekers Allowance (even if this has been sanctioned).
- Under 25 and on Income Support.
- Under 25 and getting Income-Related Employment Support Allowance, at the lower rate of £57.90 per week because they are still in the ‘assessment phase’ or appealing against a decision that they are fit for work.
- Under 25 and on Universal Credit, as long as they have no earnings.
- In the Armed Forces and away on operations.
- In prison, either on remand or sentenced.
- Getting Pension Credit. (So if they are Pension Credit age and not getting Pension Credit they should see if they are entitled. Ring 0800 99 1234).
If the non-dependant is working 16 hours or more a week the amount of the non-dependant deduction - ie how much your Housing Benefit is reduced by - depends on their gross weekly income as shown in the table below.
NOTE: if they are currently off work sick or on maternity leave then the non-dependant deduction, regardless of their gross wage will be £15.60 a week (for a 52 week rent year). Your local council won’t know if your non-dependant starts work so make sure you tell them, otherwise you could end up with an overpayment bill.
Non-dependant aged 18 or over working 16 hours or more a week
2019-20 rates (from April 2019)
Weekly deduction from Housing Benefit – based on a 52 week rent year
|Weekly deduction from Housing Benefit – based on a 50 week rent year as per WCHG|
|£451 or more
£363.00 - £450.99
£272.00 - £362.99
£209.00 - £271.99
£143.00 - £208.99
Less than £139.00
For all other non-dependants, a deduction of £15.60 a week (from April 2019) is taken from your Housing Benefit award.
If a deduction is being taken when it shouldn’t, or is being taken at the wrong rate, you could quickly find yourself struggling to pay your rent. It is very important to ensure that you provide your non-dependant details to the local council so that they apply the right rate.
If you cannot provide this information – for example your non-dependant won’t tell you what they are earning – check the Frequently Asked Questions for more advice.
Universal Credit rules
If you are getting Universal Credit and have a non-dependant living with you, the rules are different, and the deductions are called ‘housing costs contributions’.
Non-dependant deductions (housing costs contributions) from Universal Credit
Regardless of the non-dependant’s income, the housing cost contribution taken from your Universal Credit award is £73.89 a month (from April 2019) per non-dependant. If you have more than one non-dependant living with you then £73.89 is taken for each, even if they are a couple.
But in some circumstances nothing should be take.
No housing cost contribution should be taken from your Universal Credit award where the non-dependant is:
- Only staying with you temporarily ie your home is not their normal home
- Under 21 (regardless of their circumstances)
- On Pension Credit
- On the care component of Disability Living Allowance (DLA) at the mid or high rate
- On Attendance Allowance
- On the daily living component of Personal Independence Payment
- On Armed Forces Independence Payment
- On Carers Allowance
- A prisoner, whether on remand or sentenced
- Responsible for a child under 5
- A non-dependant son, daughter, step-son or step-daughter who is temporarily away from home because they are currently on operations with the Armed Forces.
No housing cost contribution should be taken from your Universal Credit award where you (the tenant) or your partner is:
- Blind or registered as blind
- On Disability Living Allowance care component at high or mid rate
- On Attendance Allowance
- On Personal Independence Payment daily living component
- On Armed Forces Independence Payment.
Council Tax Support rules
The rules on non-dependant deductions vary from council to council so you will need to contact your local council for information on how having a non-dependant living with you affects your Council Tax Support.
© 2017 Housing Systems Ltd