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Non-dependant rules

If you share your home with someone who is not your partner or a dependent child this may affect your benefit entitlement. Please enter the total number of other people who share your home and we will ask about them on the 'Other people who live with you' pages.

If you are hosting a person or family under the Homes for Ukraine scheme please don't enter any information about them into the calculator as they will not affect your benefit entitlement.

Types of people who might live with you

Non-dependants - these are often people like grown-up sons and daughters or elderly relatives. A non-dependant is a person who lives with you but is not liable for paying rent under a formal arrangement. If you live with a non-dependant your Housing Benefit, Universal Credit Housing Element and Council Tax Reduction may be reduced through rules on non-dependant deductions. In Universal Credit these are called housing cost contributions.

If you receive rent under a formal arrangement you should enter the number of sub-tenants or lodgers you have and tell us how much income you receive from them on the 'Net income' page. 

If you share your property with joint tenants e.g. a flat share they are not classed as non-dependants but having a joint tenant who is not your partner can affect the help you can receive with housing costs so you should include joint tenants here.

Who counts as a non-dependant

A non-dependant is a person who:

  • resides with you; and
  • is over 18; and
  • is not your partner or dependent child; and
  • is not liable for paying the rent (or council tax for Council Tax Support/Reduction)

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

If someone pays rent to you as a sub-tenant or boarder/lodger you should include the income you receive on the 'net income' page. People who pay rent to you as part of a formal arrangement to live in your home are not non-dependants.

Amount of deduction / contribution

The amount of the non-dependant deduction/ housing costs 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 2024/25 this is £91.47 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

Housing Benefit 

When calculating Housing Benefit, 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 Independence 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 Reduction

In local Council Tax Reduction schemes the amount deducted (if any) is decided by your local council when they design the scheme. Many schemes have the same sort of structure as Housing Benefit.

Amount of deduction / contribution for non-dependant couples

In Universal Credit there is one deduction for each non-dependant, even if they are a couple, but for the other benefits mentioned above, if you have a non-dependant couple living with you, only one deduction is made for them.

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 will be the rate applied for the couple. 

If both members of a non-dependant couple work 16 or more hours then the calculator will add together their incomes to see which deduction applies for their joint income.

If you tell us which non-dependants are a couple the calculator will work out the deduction that applies. 

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 Independence 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.