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Housing Benefit: Child Benefit

Volume 457: debated on Friday 23 February 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) what factors underlay the decision not to disregard child benefit when assessing eligibility for housing benefit; (119788)

(2) if he will disregard child benefit when assessing eligibility for housing benefit.

Housing benefit is an income-related benefit and as child benefit is an income, it has always been taken into account when deciding claims for housing benefit.

However, when pension credit was introduced in October 2003, it was decided to disregard child benefit as income in claims for housing benefit for people who had attained the qualifying age for state pension credit. This was to mirror the state pension credit income rules.

We will keep the treatment of child benefit under review as we take forward further reform of the benefit system.