Housing Benefit exemptions

Housing Benefit rate exemption for 25-35 year-olds

For private rented accommodation, the amount Housing Benefit (or the housing component of Universal Credit) will pay for a single person varies with age, according to the Local Housing Allowance (which is set by the local council for each area). For those who’ve reached their 35th birthday, they are eligible for the 1-bed rate, which in Bedford is roughly in the region of £103 per week (the figures do fluctuate a bit).

For those under the age of 35, they will only be eligible for the shared rate (as in, room in a shared house), which is usually around £62 a week in Bedford.

This limit can drastically reduce accommodation options for under 35s when they’re homeless.

However, for those aged between 25-35 who have lived in supported accommodation for a total of 3 months (so for the sake of argument, 92 days) at any point in their life, they are actually able to claim the 1-bed rate. It is very possible they won’t be told about this, so it’s always good to supply this information if you’re trying to help someone aged 25-35 when they’re homeless and check if they have lived in supported accommodatioin before.

The 3-month period could be accrued in one go or lots of short stays at different supported accommodation units. Supported accommodation would usually include night shelters and hostels, but there are other types of supported accommodation that would qualify.

Also, MAPPA clients of any age are eligible for this exemption, as are those in receipt of certain disability benefits.

And finally, people who were in care at some point are eligible for this exemption up to their 22nd birthday (which means careful planning is needed as their birthday approaches)

N.B. social housing (i.e. housing associations) does not have different rates for different ages and does not use the same limits on how much Housing Benefit will pay, which is one of the many reasons why social housing is usually a better housing option.