Changes to Benefits - Removal of Housing Benefit for 18-21 year olds

Content owner : Last updated : 10/01/2018

What is the change?

The government believes that most people under the age of 22, who are not working, should remain living at home with their family, as far as possible, and they have therefore removed automatic entitlement to housing support for 18-21 year olds. People in this age group who are out of work will be subject to a Youth Obligation with stricter requirements to fulfil in order to continue receiving support. The Government aims to ensure that young unemployed people are looking for a job from day one of their claim. Those who are unable to find work within the first 6 months of their claim will have to complete community work on a daily basis or undertake an apprenticeship or traineeship in order to continue receiving support.

How will it affect you?

This change will affect you if you are aged 18-21 and:

  • You make a new claim for Universal Credit from 1 November 2017 in Kirklees AND
  • you are not working, or you are working but your earnings are below the minimum in-work threshold (for 18 to 20 year olds who are not apprentices this is equivalent to £94.40 a week)

If you are aged 18-21 and currently claim Housing Benefit you will not be affected by this change until you have a change in circumstance.

Some Universal Credit claimants aged 18 to 21 can still get help with housing costs:

More information is available on the government website at:

What can you do?

You can avoid being affected by this change by finding training or employment.

Who else can help?

KNH has a Tenants into Work (TIW) team that can help you to find training or employment, put together a CV and provide advice on interview technique : Help to find work

KNH also has a dedicated team of officers who can provide you with advice on budgeting and managing debts. They can check that you are claiming the correct benefits and provide support in making an application for a Discretionary Housing Payment. Please contact the Debt & Money Advice Team

Useful websites

More information, including a benefit cap calculator and a list of exempt benefits can be found on the government website at: Benefit Cap - GOV.UK

The BetterOff Kirklees website allows you to check which benefits you are entitled to, search for a job and more. BetterOff Kirklees can be found here: BetterOff Kirklees Home

The Turn2us website also includes information on your options if you are affected by the cap. It can be found here: Turn2us Website