The money we count to work out benefit
We count your earnings from work (including any overtime) or from self-employment. We use what you have left after tax; National Insurance; half of any money you pay into a pension fund; and some childcare costs if you work and pay for childcare, have been taken off.
If you are self-employed, we ask for your most recent certified accounts so that we can work out your net profit.
If you are newly self-employed and get New Enterprise Allowance to help with the cost of setting it up, we ignore that.
We count any other money you have coming in and you must tell us what you have. These are some examples but not a full list:
- most social security benefits, such as retirement pension, contribution-based jobseeker's allowance
- most maintenance you get (but not maintenance for a child)
- works pensions
- private pensions, even if paid for by a partner who has since died
- credits or tokens from Local Exchange Trading Schemes (LETS). Providing services in LETS counts as work and we treat the credits as earnings which we need to value.
If you have savings or capital between £6,000 and £16,000, or between £10,000 and £16,000 if you or your partner are above the qualifying age for State Pension we add an extra amount for this to the money we count each week. We call this tariff income.
Find your state pension qualifying age on the government's website.
Money from other people who live with you (non-dependants). The government expects them to pay you something every week towards housing costs and Council Tax. We take set amounts, based on their income, off your benefit every week. More about non-dependants
If there are any changes in your income or savings you should let us know immediately.