What is the bedroom tax?

The 'bedroom tax' also known as the 'under-occupancy charge' was introduced in England, Wales and Scotland in 2013 and is a reduction of the rent that is eligible for Housing Benefit.

It will only apply to you if you or your partner are under state pension age and are a social housing tenant in receipt of housing benefit (or the Universal Credit Housing element). If this is the case and the relevant regulation determines your household has more bedrooms than you require, you will have to pay the difference between your Housing Benefit and your rent.

If your council notifies you that they are reducing your Housing Benefit because of 'under-occupancy' and you require an extra room to store equipment related to your sight loss or another disability or medical need, you might be entitled to claim Discretionary Housing Payments (DHP) from your council, to cover the shortfall. Further information on DHP can be found on the GOV.uk and mygov.scot websites.

Remember not paying all your rent will lead to possession proceedings.

It is important you are receiving all the benefits you are entitled to. Further information on the benefits that might be available to you can be found on RNIB's Benefits for people of a working age webpage.

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