Matt is single, aged 35 and lives in a two bedroom flat where the rent is £75 a week. He lost his job recently and gets £75 a week Housing Benefit to cover his rent; this gets paid directly to his landlord. He has access to his daughter at weekends.
Under the new government rules from April 2013 Matt will be living in a property larger than he needs as his daughter does not live with him full-time.
Matt’s rent for housing benefit will be reduced by £10.50 a week, his landlord will only receive £64.50 a week and he will have to pay the shortfall of £10.50 to his landlord out of his Jobseeker’s Allowance.
Gail is a single parent with two teenage boys aged 13 and 15. She works part-time and gets a small amount of Housing Benefit to help her pay her rent of £90 a week. She lives in a three bedroom house. According to the government from April 2013, Gail will be living in a property larger than she needs as her two sons are both under 16.
Gail’s rent for Housing Benefit will be reduced by £12.60 a week and she will have to find this extra money for her rent out of her income.
Tapir and Rahim both aged 55, live in a three bedroom house. Their children have all grown up and left the family home. Their rent is £110 a week. Tapir has worked all his life but due to ill health he has had to give up work and now claims disability benefit. From April 2013, under the new rules, Tapir and Rahim will be living in a property larger than they need.
Their rent for Housing Benefit will be reduced by £27.50 a week and they will have to make up the difference and pay this to their landlord as well as the rent already due.
Brenda is 66 years old and lives in a two bedroom flat. As Brenda is not of ‘working age’ she will not be affected by the ‘bedroom tax’ and there will be no changes to her Housing Benefit entitlement.