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Housing Benefit

Housing Benefit is a means-tested benefit available for those on a low income, to assist in the payment of rent.

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Who can get Housing Benefit?

You can claim if you are already in receipt of Housing Benefit and you pay rent and you:

  • have a low income whether from benefits or low-paid work, including part-time work or self-employment (but not if you get Universal Credit - your housing costs are included); or
  • you are moving from benefits into work.

You usually need to have savings or capital of less than £16,000 (unless you or your partner have reached the qualifying age for State Pension Credit, and one of you gets the guaranteed part of that credit).

How much you get depends on:

  • whether you have a partner
  • your income from working, and from things like benefits and pensions.
  • any savings or investments you have
  • the circumstances of other people living with you (their age and income for example)
  • the number of bedrooms you need
  • how much of your rent counts for benefit
  • Local Housing Allowance rules if you rent from a private landlord.

You can sometimes get benefit when you are temporarily living away from home as long as you intend to return.

Who can't get Housing Benefit?

You cannot get Housing Benefit if any of the following apply:

  • You are getting Universal Credit. If you get Universal Credit, your housing costs (help with your rent) are included in that.
  • You pay rent to a close relative who lives with you.
  • You live in a care home, nursing home or elderly persons' home.
  • You rent a home from your ex-partner and you both used to live there.
  • You are the parent or guardian of your landlord's child.
  • You live in the home as part of your job.
  • You are an asylum seeker who has not been given refugee status or indefinite or exceptional leave to remain in the UK.
  • You have been admitted to the UK on condition that you have 'no recourse to public funds'. However, if you are part of a couple and your partner is allowed to claim, they should make the claim for you both.
  • You are a sponsored immigrant who has lived here for less than five years.
  • You are in the UK illegally or your permission to stay has run out.

You may not get Housing Benefit if any of the following apply:

  • You used to live with your landlord as a family member, relative or friend and now pay that person rent.
  • You live in a property that is run by a religious order of which you are a member.
  • You rent from a trust and you are a trustee or beneficiary of the trust.
  • You rent the property from a company of which you are a director or employee.
  • You used to own the property which you now rent.
  • You are a student.
  • As an adult you have lived with a tenant (other than your partner) in the same property and the tenancy has now been changed into both your names. It depends on why the change was made.

You can now apply for Housing Benefit or a Discretionary Housing Payment online.You can also report a Change of Circumstances for your Housing Benefit claim. Use the links below to access the online forms.

Apply for Housing Benefit

Report a Change of Circumstnces for Housing Benefits

Apply for discretionary Housing payment



Extended payments

Extended Payments are an additional 4 weeks' housing benefit and council tax support that may be awarded when you start work or increase your working hours to more than 16 hours per week.

Backdating your claim

If there has been a reason which stopped or delayed you applying for housing benefit and/or council tax support, you can ask for your claim to be 'backdated' so that it starts from an earlier date.

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