If you are living on a low income you may be entitled to claim Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit. The amount of benefit you get will depend on your circumstances, and how much rent and/or council tax you pay.
Who can apply?
You may get Housing Benefit if you pay rent and your income, together with your savings and investments, are below a certain level.
You may be able to get Housing Benefit if you are on other benefits, work part-time or work full-time on a low income.
You can only get Housing Benefit if you are responsible for paying the rent for your home, or live with your partner who is responsible for the rent. Only one member of a couple, who live together, can claim Housing Benefit.
You must also be a resident in the UK.
You cannot usually get Housing Benefit if:
- You have savings of over £16,000, unless you are aged 60 or over and getting the ‘guarantee credit’ of Pension Credit
- You live in the home of a close relative
- You’re a full-time student (unless you are disabled or you are a lone parent).
- You're an asylum seeker or sponsored to be in the UK
Frequently asked questions
When should I apply for Housing Benefit?
If you think you may be entitled to Housing Benefit, apply straight away. Housing Benefit will usually only be paid from when a claim is received by your local authority.
Can I claim Housing Benefit?
If you are over 16 years of age and are living in a rented property, you may be able to claim for help with your rent.
How much will I receive each week?
The amount of Housing Benefit you are entitled to depends on your income, rent and savings. It also depends on whether other people are living with you in the property (i.e. partners, children or lodgers).
How do I apply for Housing Benefit?
If you’re already claiming other benefits: You will get a form to claim Housing Benefit and council tax benefit with your claim pack, if you’re claiming any of the following benefits: Pension Credit, Employment and Support Allowance, Income Support or Jobseeker’s Allowance. You should complete and return the housing benefit claim form to your local authority.
If you’re not claiming other benefits: If you don’t claim other benefits you can get a form for Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit (including Second Adult Rebate) from your local authority. Your local office will also be able to provide you with an application form.
Can you help me complete the form?
Yes, if you are having difficulty completing the application form, please contact us. Alternatively, you can visit your local Housing Benefit office and they will be happy to help.
How will my Housing Benefit be paid?
We would advise you to have your Housing Benefit paid directly to us so that we can help if you have a change in your circumstances and benefit entitlement. If you opt to have your Housing Benefit paid to your bank account or by cheque to you, you will need to ensure that you pay your rent to us weekly, and in advance.
What should I do if my situation changes?
You must inform your local authority immediately. If you fail to disclose any changes in your circumstances you may be liable for repayment of any Housing Benefit you received or was sent directly to us.
You should also advise us so that we can give you advice about payments.
What should I do if I am waiting for Housing Benefit but I am in arrears?
If your rent account is in arrears because of a delay in your local authority processing your claim for Housing Benefit, it is your responsibility to contact them and pursue your claim. You must also notify us if you are experiencing problems with your Housing Benefit claim.
Changes to Housing Benefit from April 2013
The Government is changing the amount of Housing Benefit that most people of working age receive. To find out more about the changes and where to get help if you are affected:
- Visit our Changes to Housing Benefit page.