You may be temporarily protected from the under-occupancy deduction if you fall into one of the categories below. Protection normally lasts for 13 or 52 weeks, but if you move home or your circumstances change, your protection will end early.
If you’ve had a bereavement
If there has been a death in your household, you will be protected from the under-occupancy deduction for up to 52 weeks after the death. If you were already getting Housing Benefit, we will continue to use the same eligible rent as before (including any deduction which already applied). If you are claiming for the first time, we will not apply the under-occupancy deduction until 52 weeks have passed.
If you could previously afford your home
If you could afford the financial commitments for your home when you agreed to pay rent, and you (and your partner, if you have one) have not received Housing Benefit in the last 52 weeks, you will be protected from the under-occupancy deduction for the first 13 weeks of your Housing Benefit award.
Telephone: 0300 300 8306
Please quote your benefit claim reference in all correspondence – your claim reference is either an 8 digit number starting with 900, or a 5 digit number. You can find it on any letter we’ve sent about your Housing Benefit or Council Tax Support.