Savings and capital

Housing Benefit (HB) and Council Tax Reduction (CTR) are 'means tested' benefits, so your income and savings will affect how much you get. If you (or your partner) have savings of over £16,000 you will not be eligible for either of these benefits.

What do we mean by capital?

Capital means any savings, investments or property owned by you and your partner (if you have one).

Capital includes:

  • cash savings
  • savings in banks, building societies or the Post Office
  • money in current accounts
  • Individual Savings Accounts (ISAs)
  • Tax Exempt Special savings Accounts (TESSAs)
  • Tessa only ISAs (TOISAs)
  • premium bonds and income bonds
  • National Savings Certificates
  • stocks, shares, unit trust holdings, government securities and bonds
  • lump sums such as redundancy payments, insurance payments and back payments of Social Security benefits
  • tax refunds
  • money invested in a business and business assets
  • property, such as a house you own but don't live in
  • land
  • money held in trust
  • money you have borrowed

Savings and capital that are ignored

The rules allow for certain types of capital to be disregarded. For example, if you own another property where a relative is living and that relative is aged 60 or over and is incapacitated, the value of that property is disregarded when assessing capital and savings.

We still need to know about the capital and savings that might be disregarded so please make sure you tell us about them if you claim.

Notional savings and capital

Where we believe that you or your partner has deliberately reduced your capital or savings to qualify for HB or CTR, we will still include this amount in our assessment of your HB or CTR. We must take into account the reasons why the money was spent.

If you are aged 60 or over we will never apply notional capital rules if the money has been spent on reducing debt or purchasing goods or services that are reasonable given your circumstances. For example, if you are aged 65 or over and bought a new washing machine to replace and old one this would not be used as notional capital.

Calculation

Capital and savings are treated differently depending on whether you are under or over 60.

If under 60:

  • If you have less than £6000 in savings and capital, this is ignored completely for HB and CTR purposes.
  • If you have between £6000 and £16000 a proportion of this will be calculated as part of your income.

If over 60:

  • If you have less then £10,000 in savings and capital this is ignored completely for HB and CTR purposes.
  • If you have between £10,000 and £16,000 a proportion of this is calculated as part of your income.

Contact us

Online: Make an enquiry
Telephone: 020 8891 1411
Fax: 020 8891 7934

Email: benefits@richmond.gov.uk

Revenues and Benefits,
Civic Centre,
44 York Street,
Twickenham,
TW1 3BZ

For Council Tax and Benefits enquiries we operate a ticket queuing system from 9am to 4.30pm, Monday to Friday.

 

Updated: 17 November 2017