Your Local Housing Allowance rate is based on the area you live in (or want to live) and the number of bedrooms you and your family need. Your Housing Benefit will not be worked out under the LHA rules if you rent your home from a housing association or live in a caravan.
To work out how much your LHA is, you must first work out how many bedrooms you and your family need, according to the guide below. Then combine this bedroom need with the relevant area. If you live (or want to live) in South Ribble, then either the Central Lancashire or East Lancashire LHA rates will apply to you depending on your postcode.
LHA does not take into account the type of property you live in. The amount of rent you pay will only be used to work out your housing benefit if it is lower than your applicable LHA rate. LHA looks at how many bedrooms you and your family are entitled to.
Your LHA rate will be reviewed each year. We will write and tell you about this. The LHA rate we use to work out your housing benefit will not change for one year unless someone moves in/out of your home or you change address. From 1 April 2013 all claims assessed under the LHA scheme will be up-rated so that April 2013 LHA rates are used. Please make sure you tell us about any changes.
One bedroom is awarded for each of the following:
- Every adult couple*
- Any other adult aged 16 or over
- Any two children aged under 10
- Any two children of the same sex aged under 16
- Any other child
- A non-resident overnight carer
*By couple we mean two people who are married to each other, or live together as if they are married, or a two people who are civil partners or live together as if they are civil partners.
The lower shared accommodation rate applies to:
- All adults under the age of 35 who live alone
- All adults and adult couples living in shared accommodation who do have any children that do not have exclusive use of at least two rooms
- Joint tenants who do not have children or anyone else living with them as part of their family
Shared accommodation is where facilities such as a kitchen and/or bathroom are shared and there is exclusive use of one other room only.
The amount of LHA you get will be affected by:
- Any money you and your partner have coming in
- Any savings/investments you and your partner may have
- People living with you
- If you share paying the rent with someone else who is not your partner
If you are receiving Housing Benefit and still cannot manage to pay your rent then you can apply for a discretionary housing payment.
Remember that you must tell us about all changes in your circumstances as soon as they occur. Do not rely on somebody else telling us.