Housing benefit for foster children: DWP refuses to relax the rules

13 June 2011 – The Department for Work & Pensions do not plan to change the current rules for calculating housing benefit where a claimant has foster children. 

In a written answer given to the House of Commons on 10 June 2011, the DWP Minister Steve Webb stated:

“Current policy is to not treat foster children as members of the foster carer's household in the calculation of the appropriate maximum housing benefit. This is consistent with the current treatment of foster children in housing benefit assessments for those living in the private rented sector. However, the Government disregards the whole of the foster carer allowance that is given to the foster parents when assessing eligibility for all income related benefits; this balance leaves the majority of households who foster substantially better off.

Discretionary housing payments can be paid by the local authority, if considered appropriate, based on the individual circumstances of the case.”