When everyone has a home

Housing advice for Northern Ireland

Changes that may have already affected your Housing Benefit

The biggest change to Housing Benefit is the introduction of the bedroom tax. But there are other important changes too, which could mean you receive less help with your rent. This will be particularly relevant if you've moved from DLA to PIP or if you have a large family. 

Some people who rent their homes from the Housing Executive or a housing association and who receive Housing Benefit may be subject to the “social sector size criteria” or “bedroom tax”. This is a cut to your Housing Benefit if your home has more bedrooms than the Government says you need. This change to Housing Benefit will take effect in Northern Ireland from 20 February 2017. This information explains how this new system works, who is and who is not affected, and what help is available if your Housing Benefit is cut because your home is too large.

A benefit cap was introduced in Northern Ireland in 2016. This means that your Housing Benefit can be reduced if your social security benefits each week total to an amount higher than the benefit cap. If your benefits are higher than the cap, your Housing Benefit award will be reduced to bring it back down to the cap level.However, people who have been affected by the benefit cap won't actually lose out on any money until 2020. This is because the government has made extra money available to help those people affected by the benefit cap.

When working out your Housing Benefit, the Housing Executive gives you premiums and allowances for everyone living in your home. These allowances and premiums are changing under welfare reform and this may mean that some people receive less Housing Benefit.