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Benefits - Change in circumstances

I am moving home

Generally, we can only pay Housing Benefit on a property that you actually occupy.

Council Tax Support (CTS) can only be paid on a property you occupy, but there may be other discounts available if we are unable to award CTS.

  1. I am moving into South Somerset

    If you are moving to South Somerset from outside the district you will need to complete an application form and provide the relevant evidence.

    Complete our online new application form.

  2. I am moving within South Somerset

    If you are receiving Housing Benefit or Council Tax support and are moving within South Somerset, you will need to let us know about your change of address.

    Complete our online change of address form.

  3. I am moving out of South Somerset

    If you are receiving Housing Benefit or Council Tax support and are moving out of South Somerset, you need to let us know so that your payments can be ended so we can try to avoid overpayment.

    Complete our online form for moving out of the area.

  4. Housing allowance and size restrictions

    If you are thinking of moving and applying for Housing Benefit you need to consider the amount of bedrooms in your new property.

    There are size limit rules for Housing Benefit for working age people. The rules allow 1 bedroom for each of the following:

    • every adult couple (married or unmarried)
    • any other adult aged 16 or over
    • any two children of the same sex aged under 16
    • any 2 children aged under 10
    • any other child (other than a foster child or child whose main home is elsewhere)
    • a carer (or team of carers) who do not live with you but provide you or your partner with overnight care

    Size restrictions for social sector housing

    If you are renting from a registered housing association, such as Abri, or a registered social landlord and are assessed as having more bedrooms than are necessary for your household, you will be considered to be under-occupying that property.

    If you are under-occupying, the amount of rent we use in the calculation of your Housing Benefit will be reduced by:

    • 14% for under-occupancy by 1 bedroom
    • 25% for under-occupancy by 2 bedrooms or more

    Local Housing Allowance

    If you are renting from a private landlord, Local Housing Allowance (LHA) rates are used to determine the maximum amount you could receive in Housing Benefit.

    The rent you are charged could be more than the LHA rate. If this is the case, even if you receive full Housing Benefit, you will need to make up the difference.

    We do not decide the rates, it is the Valuation Office Agency that provides each local authority with the LHA rates. These are reviewed from 1 April each year.

    Search the current LHA rates for South Somerset. 

    The LHA rate is determined by the number of people in your household and the area where you live.

    There are, however, the following exceptions:

    • Single applicants under the age of 35 will be entitled to the shared accommodation rate
    • Single applicants aged 35 and over and couples without dependent children will be entitled to the shared accommodation rate if they choose to live in accommodation with shared facilities
    • Single care leavers aged under 22 always qualify for the 1 bedroom rate regardless of the type and size of property (the shared accommodation rate will apply from the age of 22 to 35)
    • Applicants who qualify for the Severe Disability Premium
    • Applicants over 25 and have spent at least 3 months in a specialist hostel for homeless people, where the main purpose of the hostel is to provide accommodation, care and supervision with a view to assisting homeless people to be rehabilitated or resettled into the community.
    • Applicants over 25 who are ex-offenders and are being managed under active multi-agency management within the Multi Agency Public Protection Arrangements (MAPPA) to be rehabilitated back into the community.

  5. Overlapping benefit

    Two properties

    In some cases, you can apply for Housing Benefit on two properties if your liability for rent overlaps.

    To qualify for this benefit:

    • You must have moved into the new property but still be liable for rent at the old property
    • The liability for rent on both properties must have been unavoidable 

    Prior to moving in

    You may be able to apply for Housing Benefit before you move in.

    To qualify for this benefit you must be:

    • Waiting for adaptations to the property because of a disability
    • Waiting to be discharged from hospital
    • Waiting for social funding to buy furniture

    Moving to a care home

    If you have moved to a care home or nursing home and have had to end your tenancy because you are unable to return home, we may be able to pay Housing Benefit up to the end of your tenancy for a maximum of 4 weeks.

    Temporary absence

    In special cases, Housing Benefit can be paid while you are living away from your property, if you intend to return. This may be because you are in hospital, receiving care, fleeing violence, or on remand.

    You can apply for overlapping benefit online.

  6. I need help with a deposit bond and rent in advance

    Many landlords require deposits and rent in advance, which can be hard to afford if you have a low income.

    We may be able to help with these if certain criteria is met.

    Complete our online discretionary housing payment form.

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