Social Sector Size Criteria has changed how Housing Benefit is calculated for tenants in social housing. It is sometimes called the ‘Bedroom Tax’.
Housing Benefit is calculated on the number of bedrooms in your home and the number of people living there.
One bedroom is allowed for:
- a couple
- a person aged 16 or over
- two children of the same sex aged under 16
- two children aged under 10
- any other child (other than a foster child or child whose main home is elsewhere)
- children who can’t share because of a disability or medical condition
- a non-resident carer or carers providing overnight care
For more information about Social Sector Size Criteria, visit the nidirect website
Does the Social Sector Size Criteria affect me?
You will not be affected by Social Sector Size Criteria if:
- you or your partner have reached State Pension age
- you live in supported accommodation
- you live in a houseboat, caravan or mobile home
- you live in a shared co-ownership scheme
- you live in temporary accommodation
Your household may be allowed an extra bedroom if:
- you are fostering
- you have a regular overnight carer
- someone in your household cannot share a bedroom due to a disability
- a family member who normally resides with you is currently away from home
How will this impact on my housing benefit?
If you are assessed as having one or more extra bedrooms than your household needs, the amount of Housing Benefit you receive will go down.
Housing Benefit allowed for your rent and certain service charges will reduce by:
- 14 per cent if you have one extra bedroom
- 25 per cent if you have two or more extra bedrooms
Will I get a Welfare Supplementary Payment?
If your Housing Benefit goes down due to Social Sector Size Criteria, you will receive a Welfare Supplementary Payment. You don’t need to claim the Welfare Supplementary Payment. If you qualify for the payment, your landlord will receive a payment. If your Housing Benefit is paid to you, you’ll receive a direct payment.
You don’t need to claim the Welfare Supplementary Payment. If you qualify for the payment, your landlord will receive a payment. If your Housing Benefit is paid to you, you’ll receive a direct payment.