Changes to the shared accommodation rate (SAR) from 1 January 2012
The age threshold for application of the shared accommodation rate increases from 25 to 35 from 1 January 2012.
People making new claims from 1 January 2012 will be affected straight away. Existing claimants should get a notification letter about transitional protection as a result of the LHA changes from April 2011. This notification should also tell them that they will move to the shared accommodation rate at the end of that transitional protection period where appropriate.
Please note that transitional protection will apply even if this does not start until after 1 January 2012. This means that if someone is reassessed under the changes to the LHA arrangements after 1 January 2012 they will still get the transitional protection from the date of that reassessment.
For example, a claimant reassessed on 15 February 2012 will get nine months transitional protection from that date. This means they will not see a reduction in their benefit to the shared accommodation rate until 15 November 2012.
If a claimant has already been sent a transitional protection notification, local authorities may wish to alert them that they may be affected by the shared accommodation rate changes, if appropriate.
Communicating the changes to the shared accommodation rate
We have produced some factsheets and posters to help advertise the changes to the shared accommodation rate.
DWP-branded claimant factsheet
This factsheet details who may be affected by the changes to the shared accommodation rate from 1 January 2012. It provides details about the change and other sources of help.
- HB SAR1 (76KB) – shared accommodation rate factsheet
- HB SAR1W (124KB) – bilingual shared accommodation rate factsheet for use in Wales
This poster gives details of the increase in age of the shared accommodation rate from 1 January 2012. This is for LAs to display in customer areas.
We will send each LA a number of printed copies.
- Shared accommodation rate poster (48KB)
- Bilingual shared accommodation rate poster (55KB) – for use in Wales
We have also produced some content that you can use in your own leaflets. This is available on the Communications page