Your Money Matters 
 Information and advice for Tameside residents 
 Welfare Reform in 

 Information and advice for 
 Tameside residents 
 Reform in 

The ‘Bedroom Tax’

The ‘bedroom tax’ (also known as the ‘under-occupancy rule’ or ‘the removal of the spare room subsidy’) was introduced nationwide in April 2013.

You may be affected by the ‘bedroom tax’ if:

  • Neither you or your partner are old enough to claim Pension Credit, and
  • You are claiming Housing Benefit, and
  • You rent your home from a local authority, housing association or registered social landlord, and
  • you have more bedrooms than the Housing Benefit rules say you need

If you are affected, your Housing Benefit will be reduced, and therefore you will have to pay more towards your rent.

The Shelter website has a calculator for checking if the ‘bedroom tax’ will affect you, and how much Housing Benefit you may lose if it does.

If you are affected

If Tameside MBC decides your Housing Benefit has to be reduced because of the ‘bedroom tax’, use the calculator on the Shelter website to check that their decision is correct. If after using the calculator you feel their decision is wrong, you should appeal.

If one of the special circumstances below applies to you, then you should appeal.

If the decision to reduce your Housing Benefit appears to be correct, and none of the special circumstances below apply, then you have a number of options. Further information can be found on pages 6-8 of the bedroom tax factsheet.

If you were living continuously in the same property since before 1st January 1996, and you were affected by the ‘bedroom tax’ before 2nd March 2014, you may be entitled to a refund. See page 4 of the bedroom tax factsheet for more information.

Special circumstances

The ‘bedroom tax’ will not affect you for the first 3 months of your Housing Benefit claim if:

  • You had to make a new claim for Housing Benefit because of a change in your circumstances (e.g. redundancy), and
  • You have not claimed Housing Benefit in the last 12 months, and
  • You could afford your rent when you first took on the tenancy

If someone in your household dies, and you will be affected by the ‘bedroom tax’ for the first time, it will not affect you for the first 12 months providing you stay in the same property.

If you are jointly responsible for your rent with someone other than your partner, and they or their partner are a foster carer or need an overnight carer, then you may be entitled to extra bedrooms under the Housing Benefit rules. Get advice if this applies to you.

Some types of accommodation are exempt from the ‘bedroom tax’. See page 5 of our bedroom tax factsheet for more information.

If a room cannot be used a bedroom (e.g. because of its size), seek advice.

Housing Benefit appeals

If you feel the decision to reduce your Housing Benefit is incorrect, you can appeal using this form.

You can search for local organisations that may be able to help you with your appeal here.

Your completed appeal form should usually have been received by Tameside MBC within 1 month of the date on your Housing Benefit award letter (or the letter telling you that your Housing Benefit is being reduced).

See page 6 of our bedroom tax factsheet for more information on the appeals process.

Discretionary Housing Payment

Benefits Checks and grants

Getting Advice

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