Changes to Housing Benefit legislation - April 2017

Removal of the Employment and Support Allowance - work related activity component

For Employment and Support Allowance claims made on or after 3 April 2017, new awards will not include the work related activity component.

  • The work related activity component will no longer be used as part of the Housing Benefit applicable amount
  • If you already receive the work related activity component, it will continue to be used in your Housing Benefit applicable amount

Two child limit

  • From 6 April 2017, Child Tax Credit (CTC) is limited to two children where a new child is born or joins a household on or after this date
  • If you already receive CTC for more than two children born before 6 April 2017, this will continue to be paid

There are exceptions to the two child limit and the decision and on whether a third or subsequent child should be included in the tax credit award rests with Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs.

The two child limit will also apply to the Housing Benefit rules in the following scenarios:

  • New claims made on or after 6 April 2017
  • Where a new child/youth joins an existing claim on or after that date

The rules limit the number of personal allowances paid for a child or youth to two per claim.

All children and youths in the household will still be taken into account when awarding premiums and deciding the bedroom requirement.

The changes apply to:

  • Housing Benefit claims for the working age and pensioners made on or after 6 April 2017
  • Council Tax Reduction claims for the working age made on or after 6 April 2017

Housing Benefit will follow any decision made by Tax Credits e.g. if three or more children are taken into account in the CTC assessment, then regardless of when an HB claim is made, the same number of dependant allowances will be used in the HB calculation.

To ensure we are using the correct personal allowance we may need to see your Tax Credit award letter.