Non-dependant deductions

Non-dependant Deductions

Non-dependants are certain adults who live with you who are aged 21 or over.

Typically, an adult son or daughter will be considered to be a non-dependant.

The following people do not count as non-dependants:

  • Your partner
  • A joint tenant
  • A Lodger

The government assumes that non-dependant adults living in your home will contribute towards your household costs, including rent and Council Tax.

They therefore deduct a sum of money from the Housing Costs Element included in your Universal Credit award for each non-dependant aged 21 or over living with you. The DWP call this a Housing Costs Contribution.

These deductions are applied regardless of whether or not the non-dependant gives you any money for rent, electricity etc.

The Non-Dependant Deduction (Housing Costs Contribution) rules are complicated, there are some situations when no deduction is taken (see below) and deductions can sometimes be taken when they shouldn’t – making a big difference to your Universal Credit award.

Use the information below to work out if the correct deduction is being made, and if not, you can request a ‘Mandatory Reconsideration’ of the Housing Costs Contribution on your UC journal.

NOTE: A lodger is someone who is not a close relative and they pay you on a formal commercial basis to live in your home.

What are the non-dependant deduction rates?

Regardless of the non-dependant’s income, the Non-Dependant Deduction (Housing Costs Contribution) taken from the Housing Costs Element included in your Universal Credit award is £75.15 a month (from April 2020) per non-dependant.
If you have more than one non-dependant living with you then £75.15 is deducted for each, even if they are a couple.

But in some circumstances nothing should be taken.

No Non-Dependant Deduction (Housing Costs Contribution) should be taken from your Housing Costs Element where the non-dependant is:

  • Only staying with you temporarily, ie. your home is not their normal home.
  • Under 21 (regardless of their circumstances).
  • Responsible for a child under 5.
  • On the daily living component of Personal Independence Payment.
  • On the care component of Disability Living Allowance at the middle or high rate.
  • On Attendance Allowance or Constant Attendance Allowance.
  • On Armed Forces Independence Payment.
  • On Carers Allowance.
  • On Pension Credit.
  • A prisoner, whether on remand or sentenced.
  • A non-dependent son, daughter, step-son or step-daughter who is temporarily away from home because they are currently on operations with the Armed Forces.

Example:
Greg lives with grown up daughter in a rented two bedroom house. Greg’s Housing Costs Element is reduced by £75.15 a month because his daughter is aged 21, work full time and none of the exceptions apply. Greg needs to pay his full rent every month and his daughter gives him £200 a month ‘keep’.

No Non-Dependant Deduction (Housing Costs Contribution) should be taken from your Universal Credit award where you are or your partner is: 

  • On the daily living component of Personal Independence Payment.
  • On the care component of Disability Living Allowance at the middle or high rate.
  • On Attendance Allowance or Constant Attendance Allowance.
  • On Armed Forces Independence Payment.
  • Blind.

Example:
Trevor and Yvonne live with their two grown up sons in a rented three bedroom house. When they were on Housing Benefit there were no non-dependant deductions because Trevor gets Personal Independence Payment. Now they are on Universal Credit their Housing Costs Element has been reduced by two housing costs contributions. They explain to their Housing Officer that they are worse off. Their Housing Officer explains that due to Trevor’s daily living Personal Independence Payment there shouldn’t be any housing costs contributions but this is sometimes missed by DWP. She helps them request a review of their award on their UC journal and request a back payment. Next time their Universal Credit is paid its increased by £150 and they also get a back payment of over £900.

Frequently Asked Questions