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Claiming Housing Benefit if you're self-employed

How we assess your self-employed income, and what you need to send us

Can you apply?

If you’re self-employed, you can apply for Housing Benefit. We’ll assess how much income you get from your self-employed work, and use this to work out if you are entitled to benefit. You’ll also need to tell us about any other income you or your partner has.

How we assess self-employed income

The income we use in our assessment is your net profit. We calculate this figure through the following process:

  • we look at your income for a set period
  • we ask you to state your expenses
  • we decide which expenses we can allow and subtract these from your income
  • we deduct any relevant Tax and National Insurance

The end figure is your net profit. We will use your net profit, and any other income you have, to calculate your entitlement.

Council Tax Support

For Council Tax Support we’ll use the same process to calculate your income if:

  • your self-employed income is more than the national minimum wage
  • you’re in the first six months of a new business

If your business is over six months old and your net profit is lower than the minimum wage, we will multiply the number of hours you work by the National Minimum wage. We will use this figure in our calculations, instead of your net profit.

What you need to send us

You’ll need to complete a self-employed form listing your income and expenses. You'll also need to provide your accounts for the last financial year. If you have prepared, audited accounts please provide them.

If your business is new and you don’t have any figures please provide an estimate of your income. We’ll calculate your claim on the figures you provide. We’ll then ask you to send the actual figures at a later date, and re-calculate your claim.

Changes to your income

We will assess your self-employed income based on the previous financial year’s accounts.

However, if your self-employment has a big change then we may want to re-assess your entitlement within a financial year.

You must tell us about any changes to your self-employed income, like a:

  • significant change in income
  • change to the nature of your business

Tell us about a change