Bedroom entitlement

How many bedrooms you are entitled to when we calculate Housing Benefit depends on the size of your family.

We will need to see evidence of who lives in your home:

  • Child Benefit letter showing name, address, date of birth and amount of benefit; or
  • a birth certificate or passport showing your child's date of birth; and
  • details of anyone who lives with you as part of your household but is not charged rent (non-dependants).

You are allowed one bedroom for each of the following, up to a maximum of four rooms:

  • each couple
  • each other person aged 16 or over
  • two children under 16 of the same sex
  • two children under 10 of the same or opposite sex
  • any other child (including one bedroom for foster children)
  • an overnight carer who stays with you regularly.

Children may have their own bedroom if they are unable to share due to a disability or medical condition. However, for an extra bedroom to be considered please explain your reasons in writing and provide supporting evidence.

Approved foster carers can have one spare bedroom. Please contact us for more details if this affects you.

Social Sector Size Criteria

If you are a council or housing association tenant and you have more bedrooms than allowed, we will reduce your Housing Benefit. This is known as the 'social sector size criteria' or 'bedroom tax'.

The criteria does not apply to:

  • people and their partners who have reached state pension age
  • temporary accommodation we've placed someone in because of homelessness, or to prevent homelessness
  • rooms used by students who are temporarily away from home but intend to return
  • a room for a member of the family who's away in the Armed Forces and uses the home as their permanent UK address.

Overnight carers

If a member of your family needs an overnight carer to stay regularly and you provide the carer with their own bedroom, we will consider this when calculating Housing Benefit. Please give us as much information and evidence as possible when you make your application in writing so that we can make an informed decision.