Benefits Notes

Notes about benefit income
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In this calculator 'Benefits' means any social security benefit, also including state retirement pension and tax credits
 
Do you already get any of these benefits?
» Income Support
» Income-based JSA
» Income-related ESA
» Guarantee Credit
If you do, you won't need to answer any of the questions about your income or capital. This is because your income and savings will be below the level where they make any difference to your claim.
 
Benefit income - general points
Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit are "Means Tested" benefits. This means that all of your income and your savings are taken into account to see how much help you need. There are different rules for certain benefits but most benefits count in full as income. The most common benefits are in the list and the rules about them are used to work out your total income from benefits.
 
What if I get a benefit that is not on the list?
Any benefits not on the list count in full so they don't need special treatment. Just select 'Other Benefits' from the drop-down list and enter the amount you get.

NOTE: Statutory Sick Pay or Statutory Maternity/Paternity pay should not be entered her. Just include them as wages on the Employment & Wages page. The payslips your employer gives you will give you the info you need.
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All contents © Peter Cox - QuickCalc Ltd 2014

Capital Notes

Notes about Capital
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What counts as capital?
Your capital is the total of any savings plus money you have in banks or building societies plus any savings bonds etc. If you have any stocks or shares these also count.

'Capital' does not include the value of the house you live in or any of your personal possessions. It normally includes property you don't live in (including property overseas).

You can not include the value of debts or overdrafts to reduce your capital total.
Whose capital counts?
All capital belonging to you or your partner counts. If have children, they can have capital of up to £6,000 each without it affecting your claim.
Why do I need to declare my capital?
Housing Benefit and Council Tax Reduction are "Means Tested". This means that your savings and capital need to be checked to see how much help you need.
What happens if I have some capital?
If you and your partner are aged less than 60, capital up to £6,000 makes no difference to your claim. If you or your partner are aged 60 or more, capital up to £10,000 makes no difference to your claim. Above those levels, your capital is assumed to give you a small income every week. This can make a difference to the weekly benefit you might get.
Is there a limit to how much capital I can have?
Most people do not qualify for Housing Benefit or Council Tax benefit once their capital reaches £16,000. Only people on Guarantee Pension Credit can get benefit with capital over £16,000 - although they still have to declare it.
Can't I just spend the capital to get benefit?
No. If you spend you capital just to get benefit (or get more benefit) you will be treated as though you still had the capital.
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All contents © Peter Cox - QuickCalc Ltd 2014

Carers Notes

Notes about carers
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Basic conditions for Carers Allowance
You are 16 or over
You spend at least 35 hours a week caring for someone getting:
» Attendance Allowance
» Armed Forces Independence Payment (AFIP)
» Personal Independence Payment daily living component
» Disability Living Allowance - the middle or highest care rate
 
Carers Allowance - "Underlying Entitlement"
You cannot be paid Carers Allowance while you are receiving the same amount or more from the following benefits: 
» Bereavement Allowance
» Contribution-based Employment and Support Allowance
» Contribution-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
» Incapacity Benefit» Industrial Death Benefit
» Maternity Allowance
» Severe Disablement Allowance
» State Pension
» Govt training allowance
» Unemployability Supplement – paid with Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit or War Pension
» War Widow’s or Widower’s Pension
» Widowed Mother’s Allowance
» Widowed Parent’s Allowance
» Widow’s Pension

This is known as the overlapping benefits rule.
If you satisfy the conditions for Carer's Allowance but it is not paid because you receive an overlapping benefit, then you have an “underlying entitlement” to Carer's Allowance.

In this case you should select [YES] to the question about carers on the 'Your basic details' page. You will not start to get the Carers Allowance, but you might get more help with your rent or Council Tax.

If in doubt, please seek advice from an advice agency or the benefits department.
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All contents © Peter Cox - QuickCalc Ltd 2014

Childcare Notes

Notes about childcare costs
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When working out your Housing Benefit claim, a certain amount of your income can be disregarded to offset the costs of childcare.
The amounts are:
» Up to £175 a week for one child in childcare
» Up to £300 a week for two or more children in childcare
This can be disregarded from:
» Your wages or self-employed income
» Your partner's wages or self-employed income
» Working Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit
To qualify you should be:
» a single parent working at least 16 hours a week or
» one of a couple and both of you work at least 16 hours a week or
» one of a couple where one works at least 16 hours a week and the other is "incapacitated", or is in hospital or in prison. (see below for what counts as incapacitated)

Note: you can still count as "Working" if you are on Maternity, Paternity or Adoption leave and are being paid Statutory Maternity Pay, Statutory Paternity Pay, Statutory Adoption Pay or Maternity Allowance so long as you were working at least 16 hours a week immediately before the leave began. 
Please note that the childcare must be from an approved, registered childcare provider, for example:
» a nursery or daycare service
» a registered childminder in their own home
» a registered childminder in your home (but not if the childminder is a relative)
» a school after-hours play scheme
The childcare disregard can apply to:
» Children under the age of 15
» Children with a disability under the age of 16 (e.g. if registered blind or getting DLA)
Childcare costs
- disability and ill-health
If you are off work sick:
If you were working at least 16 hours a week immediately before you started getting one of the following benefits, you can still qualify for the "in work" childcare disregard for the first 28 weeks of being on sick leave.
» Statutory Sick Pay
» Employment Support Allowance
» Short-term (lower rate) Incapacity Benefit
» Income Support because you are unwell or have a disability
» National Insurance credits for incapacity or limited capability for work
After 28 weeks off work sick, single parents no longer qualify for the childcare disregard.
Couples only - "incapacitated":
For couples, if one of you works 16 hours or more, and one is "incapacitated" you could qualify for the childcare disregard. You or your partner will be treated as "incapacitated" if you or they get:
» The Support or Work-related Activity component of Employment Support Allowance or
» Short-term higher rate or long-term Incapacity Benefit or
» Severe Disablement Allowance or
» Attendance Allowance, Disability Living Allowance or Constant Attendance Allowance or
» have an invalid carriage or
» you (but not your partner) have been treated as being incapable of work or having limited capability for work for 6 months or more
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Other People Notes

Notes about other people
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What is meant by "other people"?
This means someone aged over 18 who lives in your home who is not one of your dependents (in other words not one of your school age children or your partner).

Often this is a grown-up child, other relative or a friend.

To be counted they must actually live in your home, so someone visiting for a while would not count - so long as they had their own address somewhere else.

If you rent lodgings or you are a boarder, do not count the landlord or their family members.

If you have a lodger or a boarder in your household, don't count them either. The income you get from them is counted separately.
Joint tenants
Do not count Joint Tenants.

A joint tenant is someone who has their own tenancy for part of the house or flat you live in. This can often be someone renting another part of the house - or someone who is a flat sharer.

They only count as a joint tenant if they have their own separate tenancy agreement.
What is "Gross" income
This means their income before any deductions for Tax, National Insurance or anything else.
Why is this information needed?
If someone lives in your household it is expected that they pay a certain amount towards the rent and Council Tax. It does not matter whether they actually pay you anything. Its just assumed they can contribute something.

In Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit these 'other people' are known as 'Non-dependents'
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All contents © Peter Cox - QuickCalc Ltd 2014

Other Income Notes

Notes about other income
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Voluntary and charitable payments
Voluntary payments can be from anyone except a former partner or parent of child in family (in which case would count as maintenance).

Voluntary payments can be used for anything - so long as the person giving the money is not legally required to pay it and does not expect or receive anything in return.
Boarders and Lodgers
Definition:
BOARDERS get meals included with their accommodation.
LODGERS don't get any meals.
Fostering Allowances
Fostering allowances do not count as income. However, fostered children do not count as part of the family for HB.
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Earnings Notes

Notes about wages
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Whose wages count?
Your wages and, if you have a partner, their wages. Wages of a dependent child do not count and do not need to be entered.
If you get Statutory Sick Pay / Statutory Maternity Pay / Statutory Paternity Pay / Statutory Adoption Pay please include this in your wages.
What figure should I enter from my payslip?
Housing Benefit and Council Tax benefit use your wages after deduction of Income Tax and National Insurance payments. It will not count any other deductions - for example, union subs, charity donation, deductions for county court judgements. The figure you enter should be your gross pay minus ONLY tax and national insurance.
However, it will look at payments into a company pension or a private pension so you should enter these in the seperate box if you pay them.
How about income from self-employment?
This also counts as 'earned income' but it might be worked out differently when deciding your claim. To enter this in the calculator you should work out your profits after tax, national insurance and 'allowable expenses' have been taken off. If you have not been self-employed for a whole year you will need to approximate how much it comes to per month or per week etc. The exact rules on self-employed income are too complicated for this calculator in some cases - but the method above will give you something to estimate with.
My wages go up and down - what figure do I enter?
I've just lost my job - do you still need my pay details?
If you have just lost your job you do not need to supply information about your wages. Your benefit claim will be worked out on your new circumstances. This could include changes to your Tax Credits, your partners wages and any other benefits you receive.
I've just started work - I don't know what pay I'll get
You will need to supply an estimate of your wages at first. You should try your best to get this as accurate as you can. Often your employer can help with this - or you can get the benefit office to ask for an estimate from your employer for you.
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Rent

Notes about
'eligible' rent
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Council and Housing Association Tenants
If you are a Council tenant or Housing Association tenant your "eligible rent" in this calculation will normally be same as the rent you pay to the Council or Housing Association - although it will not include any optional service charges.

From April 2013 Council or Housing Association tenants might get less help with their rent if their home is larger than they need. This is based on the number of people in the household and the number of bedrooms it has. The calculator will work this out for you when you answer the questions on the 'Household' page.
Private Tenants
If you are Private Tenant your "eligible rent" in this calculation will be decided using the Local Housing Allowance (LHA for short). You will need to find the appropriate LHA rate for your household size and use this figure as the "eligible" rent in the calculator. This calculator will work out how many bedrooms your household needs and show the amount on the results page. However, you'll need to use that figure to check the actual rate of LHA that applies to you. For more information about the LHA rates in your area click the info button below
LHA Information
Private Tenants under 35
If you are private tenant who is:
single | in good health | aged under 35 | with no children…
your rent in the HB calculation also uses the LHA but is restricted to the "Shared Room Rate" for your area. You will need to find the appropriate LHA rate and use this figure in the calculator.
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Using the calculator

Smartphone calculator notes
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How to use the calculator
Just answer all the questions in the order they appear on the page.
The calculator is designed to only ask questions that are needed. Don't skip ahead or you might not get asked all the right questions. 
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All contents © Peter Cox - QuickCalc Ltd 2014