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Thread: UC housing element

  1. #1
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    UC housing element

    Could anyone help with this please

    If you receive UC LCWRA and your rent is above the shared accommodation rate ( £147 pw) will it all be paid because of the LCWRA or will you need to make up the difference? I did the entitled to calculator and apparently they will pay it all . Just a bit confused as I thought the shared rate of £147 was the absolute max they’d pay .

    TIA

  2. #2
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    The rules are different for Housing Benefit and for UC Housing Element.

    What you can be paid as UC Housing Element depends on:
    1. Is it a Social or Private rental?
    2. If private then are you under or over 35?
    3. If you are under 35 do you have PIP/DLA/AFIP?

    I believe that you are over 35 and so in UC the 1-bedroom LHA rate will apply for a Private rental.
    (Are you Inner North London? Shared rate £147.29, 1-bed rate £295.49)


    To go into more details about how it works for both UC Housing Element and Housing Benefit:

    LCW/LCWRA is not important for UC-Housing Element. (Having IR ESA passports you to Housing Benefit).
    Having PIP/DLA/AFIP can make a difference to UC-HE if you are under 35, and to Housing Benefit at any age.

    In both benefits if you are in Social rented accomodation (AKA. council housing) then the full rent is paid.
    Service Charges may be included depending on what they are for. (Service Charges for Electricty/gas/water will not be included).

    In both benefits if you are in Privately rented accomodation the relevant LHA is paid (or the actual rent if it is lower).
    Any service charges are included, but of course still capped by LHA. They just pay all the rent up to the LHA cap.

    If you are under 35 then LHA is normally up to the 'Shared Rate' for both HB and UC-HE.
    However having certain benefits, PIP/DLA/AFIP, entitles an under 35 year oldup to the '1-bedroom Rate' of LHA.
    If your private rent is lower than the relevant LHA rate then you only get the actual rent.

    If you are over 35 then UC pays up to the 1-bedroom rate anyway, Housing Benefit still only pays up to the shared rate to over 35 year olds unless you have PIP/DLA/AFIP.
    If your private rent is lower than the relevant LHA rate then you only get the actual rent.
    (That can be another advantage of moving to UC if you are over 35, single, and renting privately - you can get more UC-HE than you can Housing Benefit because you'll get the 1-bed LHA rate in UC).


    (Note that there are some other special rules about 'shared rate' or '1-bedroom rate' for under 25s leaving care, foster parents, and those in homeless hostels long term).
    Last edited by nukecad; 13-01-22 at 02:15.
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  3. #3
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    Hi nukecad

    Yes it’s private rental and I’m over 35yrs and inner London so I am entitled to the 1 bedroom rate.

    The property I’m now considering moving to is with 2 other people and is slightly above the shared rate of £147 so does it mean I have to make up the difference?

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    ‘ You're over 35

    Once you're 35 or over, your universal credit should be worked out using the 1 bed LHA rate even if you live in shared housing.’

    Just read this on Shelter website , so basically if you’re over 35 UC will pay upto the 1 bedroom rate even in shared accommodation.
    Last edited by Pau; 13-01-22 at 06:41.

  5. #5
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    That's correct, UC-HE is more generous (than Housing Benefit is) for over 35's single people who are sharing.

    Which is what the Entitledto calculator told you, as long as your rent is below 1-bed LHA (£295.45 in Inner North London) then UC-HE will pay it all.

    Entitledto also say it on their website: https://www.entitledto.co.uk/help/Shared-Room
    ... in Universal Credit, if you are 35 or older you will get the 1 bed rate of LHA even if you live in shared accommodation.
    So in fact in UC it's really an 'Under 35's Rate' rather than a 'Shared Rate'.
    They will probably change the 'Shared Rate' name once everyone has been migrated from HB to UC.
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  6. #6
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    Thanks nukecad

    I think I was being a bit dim not understanding but it all makes sense now .

  7. #7
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    Hi nukecad

    Just a quick question out of curiosity, if someone over 35 on UC rents a private 2 bedroom flat would they pay extra bedroom tax or is this only for those in social housing . I understand they’d pay £1283 HE per month and if it was over this you’d have to make up the difference but would they make any deductions for the extra bedroom ?

  8. #8
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    It's either/or depending on if you are a social or private rental.

    Bedroom tax (the correct name is 'Under Occupancy Charge') only applies to social housing. (LHA does not apply).

    LHA only applies to private rentals. (UOC does not apply).

    In social housing benefits will pay all your rent, unless you have more bedrooms than you need in which case the UOC applies.

    In private rentals benefits will pay only up to the LHA that you qualify for, regardless of how many bedrooms you actually have.

    So if you privately rent a 2-bed or 3-bed when you are only entitled to 1-bed LHA you'll get up to 1-bed LHA.

    To put it another way:
    Benefits for social rents are not capped, but will be reduced if the property has more bedrooms than you need.

    Benefits for private rents are capped at LHA, no matter how many bedrooms you are renting.
    Last edited by nukecad; 16-01-22 at 10:18.
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  9. #9
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    Ok , thank you for that nukecad , for some reason I thought even private renters had to pay over occupancy charge.

  10. #10
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    *under occupancy charge

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