Last updated 7 April 2020

The government has made some changes to the benefits system to support people through coronavirus.

If your claim is affected by any of the changes below, you do not need to contact us. We’ll make the changes automatically and send you a letter to confirm this.

Local Housing Allowance has increased

From 1 April 2020, Local Housing Allowance (LHA) figures have increased to:

Category

Size

Weekly amount

Monthly amount

A

Shared accommodation

£72.84

£315.64

B

One-bedroom

£136.93

£593.36

C

Two-bedroom

£172.60

£747.93

D

Three-bedroom

£195.62

£847.69

E

Four-bedroom

£276.16

£1,196.69

What this means

If your Housing Benefit is worked out using an LHA figure, you’ll see the change in amount from:

  • 1 April 2020 - for calendar monthly rents
  • 6 April 2020 - for weekly, fortnightly or four-weekly rents

Your Housing Benefit will still be subject to the benefit calculation. What you get will be based on the LHA figure.

If your rent is:

  • more than the LHA figure you can only get up to the LHA amount in benefit
  • less than the LHA figure you can only get up to the value of your rent in benefit

More details of the LHA rates.

Additional earnings disregard has increased

The additional earnings disregard has been increased from £17.10 to £37.10.

The additional earnings disregard is an amount we can ignore from your earnings or Working Tax Credit if you meet the criteria.

Why this has happened

The government has increased Working Tax Credit payments by up to £20 per week. If you receive Working Tax Credit, your Housing Benefit may go down. The additional earnings disregard increase means we can ignore more of your income. This increase will make sure you’ll keep as much of your Housing Benefit as possible.

If you’re not receiving Working Tax Credit you can still benefit from the increased disregard if you meet the criteria for it.

We’ll amend your claim to reflect the increased amount. However, HMRC are recalculating tax credits over the next month, so you may find that your Housing Benefit is recalculated twice.

Other income changes

If your income has been affected by coronavirus you should report your changes to us straight away.