Non-Dependant deductions Frequently Asked Questions


I’m on Housing Benefit and my son won’t tell me how much he earns so they’ve taken the highest deduction. What can I do?

You need to contact your local council and give them as much detail as you can about your son’s income and situation. If all you can tell them is what sort of job your son is doing and whether it is full or part-time, then the local council should use this information to apply a lower rate if that is more likely. Give all the information you can to the local council, including why you can’t supply everything they are asking for.

If the local council won’t change the rate, ask us for more advice – we have a template letter you can use.

You could ask your non-dependant to contact the local council themselves. Explain how much more rent you are having to pay and the difficult position this puts you in.  If you can’t pay your rent, you AND they could lose their home!!

My daughter stayed with me for a short while last month and my Housing Benefit was reduced. Was this right?

There should be no deduction taken in respect of someone who is only staying with you temporarily. Provide the local council with as much information and evidence as you can, to show that they hadn’t intended to make your house their home. If the local council decide not to take off the non-dependant deduction contact us – we may be able to help.

My daughter’s hours have been dropped to just 15 hours a week – should the non-dependant deduction taken off my Housing Benefit be reduced?

If someone is working less than 16 hours a week the lowest rate deduction from Housing Benefit should apply. If a higher deduction than this is being made, provide evidence of your daughter’s hours of work to the local council.

My partner is disabled – should there be a non-dependant deduction from our Housing Benefit for our nephew who lives with us?

If your partner is registered blind or getting Attendance Allowance, a care component of Disability Living Allowance, a daily living component of Personal Independence Payment or Armed Forces Independence Payment then no non-dependant deduction should be taken from your Housing Benefit. If he is not on one of these benefits a non-dependant deduction may be taken based on your nephew’s circumstances. If you think you or your partner might be entitled to one of these benefits then apply as soon as possible – contact an experienced adviser to help you make the claim.

My non-dependant daughter has left home and I don’t know where she is. My Housing Benefit is still being reduced by a non-dependent deduction: the council won’t change it. What can I do?

Your local council can remove the non-dependant deduction even where you have no forwarding address for her, if you explain why you are unable to provide this. You could give them her National Insurance number and ask them to check on their ‘CIS’ system, to see if she is now claiming a benefit from another address. If they can tell from this that she is not living with you then they should remove the deduction. If this doesn’t help, you can appeal their decision. An appeal tribunal has to decide on the balance of probabilities whether they believe that your non-dependant is still living with you. The more information you can provide, the more likely they are to believe you.

I get Universal Credit. My daughter (aged 22) is coming back to live with me, with her baby. How much will my Universal Credit be reduced by?

There is no deduction from your Universal Credit for a non-dependant who is the primary carer of a child under 5.

I get Universal Credit. My son and daughter-in-law (both aged 24) live with me. My son works full time but my daughter-in-law doesn’t have a job at the moment. How much Universal Credit will I lose?

There will be a deduction for each of them – the rate from April 2019 is £73.89 a month each – so you will lose £147.78 per month.

What is the difference between a non-dependant and a lodger?

If the person living with you is a close relative* for whom you do not receive Child Benefit, then they will be classed as a non-dependant even if you regard them as a lodger.

To be classed as a lodger the person living with you must not be a close relative*, and must be paying you for accommodation and/or meals (‘board’) on a commercial basis. The local council (or DWP if you are on Universal Credit) will want to see some proof of the commercial basis of the arrangement to be convinced they are a lodger- such as a rent book and/or tenancy agreement. It is unlikely they will accept a person as a lodger if they were previously classed as a non-dependant.

Under Housing Benefit rules, any money over £20 per week which the lodger pays you for their accommodation can affect your benefit entitlements. If you are getting Universal Credit, none of the money you receive from them is taken into account – but they are not allocated a bedroom under the Universal Credit Bedroom Tax rules.

*Close relative means parent, parent-in-law, son, son-in-law, daughter, daughter-in-law, step-parent, step-son, step-daughter, brother, sister or the spouse or partner of any of these people.

 © 2017 Housing Systems Ltd