Whenever we pay a new claim or adjust an existing one we need to let you know how your benefit has been calculated. The award letter we send you may be complicated but we are required by law to include the certain information.

Click the links on the example letter below for an explanation of terms and an example of how benefit is calculated. Or read the full explanation here.

MR A CUSTOMER
1 THE ROAD
THE TOWN
TO12 3WN
 
Dear MR CUSTOMER
Benefit Reference 1234567
This letter explains how the Council has worked out your benefit.
Your Weekly Housing Benefit Awards:
Your awards are as follows:
From 03 July 2017 benefit of £96.22 per week.
This Housing Benefit payment will cover the period from 03 July 2017 to 31 July 2017.
You will receive £384.88.
Thereafter you will receive £192.44 every two weeks.
Your Weekly Council Tax Reductions:
Your awards are as follows:
From 03 July 2017, Council Tax Reduction of £7.09 per week
HOUSING BENEFIT AWARD FROM 03 JULY 2017
Income you told us about:
(All figures are per week unless otherwise stated)
Earnings Gross £230  
    Less Tax - £46.00  
    Less National Insurance - £27.60  
    Less disregarded income - £27.10  
Child Benefits £20.70  
    Less disregarded income - £20.70  
Working Tax Credit £91.00  
Child Tax Credit £54.00  
  ----------  


 
Your Total Income Used in the Calculation £274.30  
  ==========  
 
How much you need to live on:
For you (and your partner where applicable) £114.85  
Because you have a dependent child or young person £66.90  
  ----------  
Total Applicable Amount £181.75  

==========  
 
Excess Income
Income used in the calculation £274.30  
Less how much the law says you need to live on - £181.75  
  -----------  
Excess Income £92.55  
  ===========  
Rent Charged £160.00  
Local Housing Allowance £156.38  
 
How your Housing Benefit is worked out:
Weekly rent eligible for benefit £156.38  
Less 65% of excess income £60.16  

-----------  
Weekly Housing Benefit Awarded £96.22  
  ===========  
A maximum entitlement to 2 bedrooms is used.
An LHA rate of £242.40 per week, which is based on 8 person(s) in your household, is used.
 
Council Tax Reduction award from 03 Jul 201
Income you told us about:
 (All figures are per week unless otherwise stated)
Earnings Gross   £230  
    Less Tax -   £46.00  
    Less National Insurance £27.60  
    Less disregarded income -£27.10  
Child Benefits £20.70  
    Less disregarded income -   £20.70  
Working Tax Credit £91.00  
Child Tax Credit £54.00  
  ----------  
Your Total Income Used in the Calculation £274.30  
  ==========  
 
How much you need to live on:
 
For you (and your partner where applicable) £114.85  
Because you have a dependent child or young person £66.90  
Total Applicable Amount £181.75  
  ==========  
 
Excess Income
Income used in the calculation £274.30  
Less how much the law says you need to live on £181.75  
  -----------  
Excess Income £92.55  
  ===========  
 
YOUR COUNCIL TAX
Your property is in Band C having a weekly Council Tax liability of £27.97
How your Council Tax Reduction is worked out:
Eligible Council Tax £27.97  
Less 20.00% of excess income  £18.51  
  -----------  
Weekly Council Tax Reduction £9.46  
 
However, in line with this Council's policy a further reduction of 25.00% has been applied to your Council Tax Reduction.
 
Calculated Support £9.46  
Reduction of 25.00% £2.37  
  -----------  
Weekly Council Tax Reduction £7.09  

Some of the terms in your letter explained

How much you need to live on

This is your applicable amount, it is calculated using the figures set by central government. The amount we use will depend on your circumstances (the amount will depend on your circumstances for example: if you are single, part of a couple, sick, disabled, elderly or a lone parent).

Total income

Total income is the amount of income you have told us about, less tax, national insurance and any disregarded income. It is converted to a weekly amount. The higher your income is over your applicable amount, the less benefit you will get.

Disregarded income

Disregarded income is money you get that we don’t count when we work out your benefit.

Excess income

Your excess income is the amount of income you have over your applicable amount.

Rent charged

Rent charged is the amount you have told us you are being charged for where you live. We convert the amount to a weekly figure.

Weekly rent eligible for benefit

The eligible rent figure is the amount of rent you are charged less any costs that cannot be covered by Housing Benefit for example a heating charge. We will convert your rent charge to a weekly figure.

Non dependant deduction

A non-dependant is normally any adult who lives with you who is not your partner. In some cases we make a deduction from your Housing Benefit and Council Tax Support to represent the contribution the government expects them to make to your household. This is called a non-dependant deduction. The non-dependant deduction is taken from the maximum Housing Benefit and Council Tax Support before we work out how much help we can give you with the remaining amount.

Eligible rent figure

Eligible rent is the figure that we will use to calculate Housing Benefit entitlement. It will include costs that we can allow for such as; communal cleaning, communal lighting but will not include things like personal heating charges.

Local Housing Allowance (LHA)

LHA is used to work out how much Housing Benefit can be paid. The rate is set by the rent officer and is based on the number of bedrooms your household needs.