How Housing Benefit is calculated
How we calculate Housing Benefit
We add together all your earned income (for example, wages) and all unearned income (for example, Child Tax Credit) to calculate your Housing Benefit award. We will also include your partner’s income if you have one.
We deduct these from your gross earnings:
- Income Tax
- National Insurance contributions
- half of any pension contributions
If you are employed
We use an average of your income. If you are paid monthly, we will work out the deductions using the average of two monthly payslips. The average is then converted into a weekly figure.
We require either two monthly payslips, two four-weekly payslips, three fortnightly payslips or five weekly payslips. All payslips must follow on from each other.
If you have just started work and you do not have these payslips, you can provide:
- one payslip
- your contract of employment
- a letter from your employer confirming the number of hours you are due to work each week and your hourly pay, or the number of hours you are due to work each week and your annual salary
- a Certificate of Earned Income form which must be completed and stamped by your employer
You will still need to provide the payslips listed above once you have received them.
If you are self-employed
We will need to see your self-employed accounts. They should be for a recent trading period, for example the most recent financial year, or the last six or 12 months.
You will also need to supply evidence of your income and expenses by providing invoices and receipts for the relevant trading period.
We will work out your profit for the trading period and make the deductions. The remaining profit is then converted into a weekly figure.
If you have just started self-employment you can:
- provide a self-employed account for the last three months with proof of income and expenses
- provide a projected self-employed account for three months from the start of your self-employment
If you receive other welfare benefits they will be added to your claim and no amounts will be deducted. You will need to provide recent letters from the relevant departments confirming the benefits you receive.
We don’t count some incomes for the calculation of Housing Benefit, for example Child Benefit, Disability Living Allowance and money received from an ex-partner towards Child Maintenance.
We ignore a small amount from your earnings if you are working. This will depend on who is in your household and the number of weekly hours worked by you and/or your partner.