Non Dependant Rules: Explained

Non Dependant Rules: Explained

If you share your home with someone who is not your partner or a dependent child your entitlement to Housing Benefit, Support for Mortgage Interest, Universal Credit housing costs element or Council Tax Support can be reduced through rules on non-dependant deductions, in Universal Credit these are called housing cost contributions.

If you share your property with joint tenants e.g. a flat share they are not classed as non-dependants.

Who counts as a non-dependant

A non-dependant is a person who:

  • resides with you; and
  • is over 16 (a deduction is taken when the non-dependant is 18 or over); and
  • is not your partner or dependent child; and
  • is not liable for paying the rent (or council tax for Council Tax Support)

Non-dependants are often people like grown-up sons or daughters and elderly relatives. 

If someone pays rent to you as a sub-tenant you should declare it by saying 'yes' to the question on sub-tenants on the 'net income' page. People who pay rent to you as a sub-tenant do not count as non-dependants.

Amount of deduction / contribution

The amount of the deduction/contribution depends on the benefit being claimed.

Universal Credit

Under Universal Credit rules there is a flat rate contribution (deduction) each month regardless of the non-dependant's income, for 2017/18 this is £70.06 a month.

There will be no contribution expected of non-dependants who are under 21, there will also be no contribution expected of non-dependants who are 21 or over and:

  • receiving Pension Credit
  • receiving the care component of Disability Living Allowance at the middle or highest rate
  • receiving the daily living component of Personal Independence Payment
  • receiving Attendance Allowance 
  • receiving Carer's Allowance
  • the primary carer for a child aged 4 or under

The non-dependants page of the calculator is not currently set up to capture the appropriate exemptions for Universal Credit claimants who have a non-dependant living with them. Whichever category is selected, the flat rate contribution of £70.06 a month will be applied. If you or your non-dependant are exempt and therefore a contribution should not be included in your Universal Credit calculation, please do not include the non-dependant on this page of the calculator.

Housing Benefit and Support for Mortgage Interest

When calculating these benefits, the rate of non-dependant deduction depends on whether the non-dependant is a student or claims benefits (and which one), or works more than 16 hours a week and, if so, their gross income.  If you have a non-dependant couple living with you, one deduction is made based on their joint income, see the 'Amount of deduction / contribution for non-dependant couples' section below.

  • If the non-dependant is out of work and on benefits you should select one of the first three categories on the Non-dependants page of the calculator, depending on which benefit is received
  • if the non-dependant works less then 16 hours then you should select the third category
  • if the non-dependant works more than 16 hours then you should select the appropriate band for their gross income. For non-dependant deductions gross income includes the gross (before tax and National Insurance) amount the non-dependant earns each week, plus any other income including tax credits and benefit income (except income from Attendance Allowance, Disability Living Allowance or Personal Independance Payment).

There will be no deduction made if the non-dependant:

  • is aged under 18
  • is in receipt of Pension Credit (savings credit cases as well as guarantee credit)
  • is under 25 and receives Income Support, income-based Jobseeker's Allowance, income-related Employment and Support Allowance (assessment phase) or Universal Credit with no earned income
  • is in receipt of a training allowance or a YTS scheme
  • has been a patient in hospital for 52 weeks or more
  • is a full-time student (but deductions may be made during the summer vacation if the student does any paid work in this period)
  • is a prisoner

Council Tax Support

In Council Tax Support the rules about non-dependant deductions will vary as local Councils have had to adopt their own schemes with their own rules. This calculator covers about 95% of Council Tax Support schemes but you should refer to your local Council's scheme to confirm what deductions apply and when. Some Councils also have a scheme called second adult rebate which you may qualify for if you share your home with someone who is not your partner, you should ask them for details.

Amount of deduction / contribution for non-dependant couples

In Universal Credit there is one deduction for each non-dependant, but for the other benefits mentioned above, if you have a non-dependant couple living with you, only one deduction is made for them so they should be treated as 1 non-dependant.

The appropriate deduction will be the highest that applies. For example, if one member of the couple is on benefits and the other is earning £400 per week, the deduction for a non-dependant earning £400 per week would be higher so this is the category that applies and should be entered on the non-dependants page of the calculator.

If both members of a non-dependant couple work 16 or more hours then you should add together their incomes to see which income-band their joint income falls within and select this on the non-dependants page of the calculator.

Exemptions from a deduction / contribution due to your circumstances

If you or your partner are registered blind or claiming Disability Living Allowance care component (for Universal Credit it must be the middle or higher rate), Personal Independance Payment daily living component or Attendance Allowance then a non-dependant deduction or housing cost contribution will not be taken from your benefits regardless of your non-dependant's circumstances. The calculator automatically recognises these cases. If you are claiming Pension Credit, non-dependant deductions will only apply for Support for Mortgage Interest, not Housing Benefit.

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