Housing benefit

It's not called Housing benefit anymore. it's called Local housing allowance. It's now calculated on how many rooms you're entitled to. This varies with the number of people in your household, and your age.
You can calculate this yourself if you know:
The numbers of how many people live in your household, including family members, non-dependants, boarders and sub-tenants
to know whether you are entitled to an additional bedroom for someone not living with you, but who provides necessary overnight care for you or your partner
the postcode of the property you rent or want to rent, or the local authority where it’s situated

You should know all these things - they're not hard. If you're looking to move to an area use the local authority option. If there's more than one that it might come under it'll show you both.
If you're a couple or single then you don't need to use the bedroom calculator as for couples and single people claiming under certain circumstances the number of bedrooms you are entitled to is fixed.
Calculate the number of bedrooms you're entitled to claim houseing benefit (LHA) for
The calculator for housing benefit lets you say what authority or postcode and then they tell you how much help you could have with your rent. For a couple with one child in Oldham it works out two bedrooms and the rate for that is £109.62 per week. To work out how much a month you X52 and divide by 12. This works out at £475.02 a month. It's useful to work this out yourself as most rentals are advertised on a per month rent basis.
If you want to see all the rent rates for different size propertys in different areas then you can visit this page that allows you to investigate all the local housing allowance rates for different bedroom numbers. It shows by month so you can research older levels and see if it's gone down.
The aim of changing the housing benefit rules was to try and bring rents down.
For my local authority for October 2011 the rates are:
Shared Accommodation Rate:
£60.00 per week
One Bedroom Rate:
£92.31 per week
Two Bedrooms Rate:
£109.62 per week
Three Bedrooms Rate:
£126.92 per week
Four Bedrooms Rate:
£173.08 per week

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