Q:

How is a housing benefit calculated?

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Quick Answer

Housing benefit is a social-security benefit intended to assist in housing costs of rented accommodations in the United Kingdom. According to Wikipedia, this housing benefit amounts to £23.8 billion in 2013-14, comprising 30 percent of the U.K. welfare budget. Most applicants can use a benefits calculator to determine the housing benefit by entering information about savings, income, existing pensions and benefits and income for others living in the household.

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Full Answer

In order to calculate housing benefits, the applicant must also include outgoings and expenses, such as childcare payments, mortgage and rent, and the council tax bill payment amount. Benefits calculator software can help determine the type of benefits available, how to claim those benefits, and how these benefits can change if the applicant finds employment.

There are limitations as to who can use a benefits calculator and receive accurate results. A benefits calculator does not produce accurate results for individuals who are under 18 years old, a student, a prisoner, on strike, permanently living in a nursing home or residential care, not a UK resident and not an Irish or British citizen. Further information provided by housing benefits calculators are income-related benefits, contribution-based benefits, Carer's allowance, Council Tax Reduction and Universal Credit.

The housing benefit does not apply to residents living in the United States; however, according to MSN Money, America faces the same problem of making housing affordable for its citizens, particularly in major metropolitan areas.

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