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- What Housing Benefit is
- Who can claim
- How much you will get
- How to apply
- When and how it will be paid
- Paying rent on two homes
- Changes in your circumstances or address
- Appeal a decision
- Extra help with housing costs (Discretionary Housing Payments)
- Help when coming off benefits (extended payments)
- If you have been overpaid
- Council Tax Support
What Housing Benefit is
Housing Benefit can help you pay your rent if you're unemployed, on a low income or claiming benefits. It's being replaced by Universal Credit.
Who can claim
Most people will need to claim Universal Credit instead of Housing Benefit.
To find out which one you need to claim, go to GOV.UK: Housing Benefit
How much you will get
Housing Benefit can pay for part or all of your rent. How much you get depends on your income and circumstances:
To calculate an estimate of how much you will get, use the benefits calculator.
For more information about how much you will get, visit: GOV.UK: What you'll get.
How to apply for Housing Benefit
If you think you are eligible, make sure you apply straight away or you might lose out on benefit.
It's important to answer all the questions fully and provide as much information as you can.
You can apply online:
Claim Housing Benefit online
To process your claim for Housing Benefit we will need to see proof of:
- identity for both you and your partner
- national insurance number for you and your partner
- all income for you and your partner
- capital for both you and your partner
- rent if you rent from a landlord or housing association
We always need to see original documents. Copies will not be accepted.
Proofs can be uploaded online, or sent by post. Any documents posted to the Council will be returned by second-class post. The Benefits Service will not accept responsibility for the loss of any documents sent by post.
Housing Benefit will not be paid until all the required information is provided.
If you are applying for certain other benefits at the same time as Housing Benefit, you might be able to apply for them all together through Jobcentre Plus or the Pension Service, see GOV.UK: How to claim.
When and how it will be paid
We can only pay Housing Benefit from the Monday after we receive your application form.
If you are of working age and claim other benefits, you may be able to get your Housing Benefit backdated by up to one month.
The way you get paid depends on the type of tenant you are. If you're a:
- council tenant, it's paid into your rent account (you will not receive the money)
- private or housing association tenant, it's paid into your bank or building society account
Paying rent on two homes
Housing Benefit is normally only paid on one home - the one at which you live. This is because most people should be able to plan a move in advance.
In a few exceptional cases, benefit may be paid for your old and new home.
Changes in your circumstances or address
If you get Housing Benefit, by law you need to tell us if your circumstances change.
To find out what changes you need to tell us about, and how to tell us, see changes in circumstances or address.
Appeal a decision
Find out what to do if you think your benefit is wrong, and how to appeal a decision.
Extra help with housing costs (Discretionary Housing Payments)
If we consider that you need additional help towards housing costs, you may be able to get Discretionary Housing Payments (DHP).
Help when coming off benefits (extended payments)
It is sometimes possible to stay on full Housing Benefit or Council Tax Support, for an extra four weeks after you come off income support, Jobseeker's Allowance (income based), incapacity benefit, severe disablement allowance or employment and support allowance. This is called extended payments.
If you have been overpaid
What to do if you have been paid too much Housing Benefit.
If you think someone is getting Housing Benefit they are not entitled to, please report it.
Council Tax Support
If you are on a low income, or live with someone who isn't your partner, you may be entitled to Council Tax Support.