What is Housing Benefit?

Housing Benefit is available to people on a low income who are renting their homes to help them to afford to pay the rent.

You cannot apply for Housing Benefit if you are receiving Universal Credit.

If you have applied to the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) for Universal Credit, and are liable to pay Council Tax at the property you live in, you will also need to apply to the council for Council Tax Reduction.

Can I claim?

To apply for Housing Benefit you must:

  • Normally live at the property you are applying for
  • Be liable to pay rent for the property
  • Either be entitled to:
    • Income Support
    • Jobseeker's Allowance (Income based)
    • Employment and Support Allowance (Income related)
    • or have a low income.

People with over £16,000 in savings will not normally qualify for any benefit.

You cannot claim Housing Benefit:

  • For a property let on a lease of more than 21 years except for shared or co-ownership schemes, if you are the owner-occupier; or if you are a tenant in a property owned by the Crown.

How do you work it out?

Each year the Government gives us guideline figures showing the amount of money people should have to meet their basic needs. These figures vary depending on your circumstances. The amount of benefit may be reduced if there are other adults living in the household, for example non dependant children over the age of 18.

How much can be awarded?

Every privately rented property has a Local Housing Allowance (LHA) rate.

The maximum amount of benefit you can get is 100% of the LHA rate, and you would normally get this amount if you were on Income Support, Jobseeker's Allowance (Income based), Employment and Support Allowance (Income related).

If your rent is more than the LHA rate for your property you cannot get Housing Benefit on the amount of rent higher than the LHA rate.

Backdated claims

If you think you have 'good cause' for a late claim please make sure that you fill in an application form for the period in question.

Still not sure if you qualify? Don't miss out, make a claim.


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