What is Housing Benefit?

Housing Benefit is a national welfare benefit scheme that can help you pay your rent if you are on a low income.

Will I be able to get Housing Benefit?

For most working-age customers who are making a new claim for help towards paying rent or have a change in their circumstances, Housing Benefit payments are being replaced by Universal Credit in this area. Use the Universal Credit postcode checker on the GOV.UK website to find out whether you’ll need to apply for Universal Credit instead of Housing Benefit.  

People of pension age are not affected by this change and can still apply for Housing Benefit.

To be able to claim Housing Benefit you must:
  • be liable to pay rent; and
  • be resident in the property you are claiming for.
You will not be entitled to Housing Benefit if:
  • You have over £16,000 in savings, investments and property between yourself and your partner (unless you get Guaranteed Pension Credit).
  • You are renting from a resident relative.
  • You are renting from a former partner.
  • You are responsible for your landlord’s child.
  • You have no recourse to public funds due to your immigration status.
  • You are a full time student, without children or any disabilities.

How much Housing Benefit could I qualify for?

We will explain this to you when you apply as it depends on your age and whether you're renting from a private or social landlord. Some guidelines are confirmed below for your information:

If you rent your property from a private landlord the Local Housing Allowance (LHA) rules will apply to you.

If you rent your property from a social landlord/Housing Association and you're working age your benefit payments will be based on the number of bedrooms you’re considered to need. For example 1 bedroom is allowed for each of the following people when we work out your benefit:

  • A couple
  • A person aged 16 years or older
  • Two children of the same sex until one reaches 16 years old
  • Two children of the opposite sex until one reaches 10 years old
  • A carer (who doesn't normally live with you) if you or your partner require overnight care.

If you do have more bedrooms than the rules allow, you will be expected to make up the difference in your rent yourself.  There are several other options to consider if you can't afford this, including moving to a smaller property or taking in a boarder.

You can also use an independent benefits calculator through GOV.UK to see which benefits you may be able to get.

Other support available

  • Discretionary Housing Payments (DHPs) can provide people with extra help, when Housing Benefit does not meet the full value of their rent.
  • The Welfare Support Scheme can provide further financial support to help pay for essential daily living needs, household items or bills.

More information

 

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