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.
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 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 is money you get that we don’t count when we work out your benefit.
Your excess income is the amount of income you have over your applicable amount.
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.