The Bedroom Tax affects people aged 61 and under who are claiming Housing Benefit.
The government has decided to reduce housing benefit by 14% (around £9.60 a week for EPIC Tenants) for households who have 1 spare bedroom. Housing benefit will be reduced by 25% where a household has 2 or more spare bedrooms. You can download a leaflet about the changes here.
How many bedrooms can I have?
One bedroom is allowed for each adult or couple aged 16 years or over.
Children of the same sex are expected to share a room until their 16th birthday.
Children of different sexes are expected to share a room until their 10th birthday.
What happens if I have shared care of a child?
The child is only counted as needing a bedroom at the house of the main carer. This is normally the parent who receives the child benefit for the child.
What happens if I have a disability?
If you have somebody else who regularly needs to stay overnight to provide care for you because of a disability, you may not have to pay the bedroom tax. Please contact our Income Services Team who can provide you with further advice.
What can I do if I can't pay the bedroom tax?
The most important thing is to let our Income Services Team know as soon as you are having problems. The earlier that you let us know, the easier it is to help you put things right. Here are some things to consider to avoid the bedroom tax:
Moving to a smaller property - We are giving priority to our customers who need to move to a smaller home to avoid the bedroom tax. You may also be eligible for a special payment of £300 from EPIC to help you with the move.
Mutual Exchange - You can arrange to swap your home with another Housing Association or Council tenant. Both landlords need to give permission before you do this. Please contact your Housing Officer if you are interested in a mutual exchange.
Getting a job - If you no longer need to make a claim for Housing Benefit, the bedroom tax will not affect you. Our Income Services Team can put you in touch with our friends at Groundwork who can provide you with lots of support and advice to find a job that's right for you.
Taking in a lodger - You need to ask EPIC's permission first, but taking in a lodger may help to avoid the bedroom tax. It is important to get this checked out first, as taking in a lodger could affect the amount of benefit that you get.
Stay and Pay
We know that many people do not want to move and are going to try and pay the extra amount (around £9.60 each week). It is important that you keep up with your payments and let us know as soon as you have any problems.
Who can I speak to about the Bedroom Tax?
Please contact our Income Services Team on 01782 252581, send us a text on 07838 906952 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.