The 'bedroom tax'

This page explains what happens to your benefits if you have more bedrooms than your family size allows.

You may not be affected if:

You have a severely disabled child who requires their own room. In some circumstances a severely disabled child is to be allowed their own bed room – usually if they would seriously disrupt the sleep of another child in the property at night if they were to share a room.

You are a foster carer, as long as you have fostered a child or have become an approved foster carer in the last 12 months, if so you will be allocated an extra spare room. If you are affected by the Bedroom Tax and have more than one foster child you will be able to apply for a Discretionary Housing Payment. Foster carers will also be exempt whether a child has been placed with you or not or you are between placements.

You have an adult child who is serving in the armed forces who is away on duty. They will be deemed as still living at home and therefore allocated a bedroom whilst away on operations.

You have a spare room for the use of an overnight carer - you will be affected by bedroom tax if the spare room is only used by carers or for medical reasons during the day.

There are a number of different rules about what counts as a spare bedroom: Children of both sexes under 10 would be expected to share a bedroom. If they currently do not share and they remain in separate rooms, one of their rooms will be considered as a spare bedroom.

Children of the same gender under 16 would be expected to share a bedroom.

If a bedroom (with or without furniture) is kept free for when a child comes to stay with a parent that they do not normally live with, this room will be considered as a spare bedroom.

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