Housing benefit eligibility and how to claim | ౦

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Housing Benefit

If you're on a low income and struggling to cover your rent, you might be able to claim Housing Benefit.

What is Housing Benefit?

Housing Benefit is money to help you cover your rent if you're living on a low income.

You can make a new claim for Housing Benefit if you're State Pension age or over. If you have a partner, you can only usually make a new claim for Housing Benefit when you both reach State Pension age. 

If you and your partner aren't State Pension age and you need help with paying your rent, you can only claim Housing Benefit if you live in supported, sheltered or temporary housing. Otherwise, you'll need to make a claim for Universal Credit instead. 

Find out more about Universal Credit

If you're a mixed age couple and you're already claiming Housing Benefit, then you may find our page on changes to mixed age couple benefits helpful.

How much Housing Benefit could I get?

Housing Benefit is a means-tested benefit, so the amount you get depends on your income and how much you have in savings. It also depends on:

If you get the Guarantee Credit part of Pension Credit, you might get your rent paid in full by Housing Benefit.

Find out more about Pension Credit

Am I eligible for Housing Benefit?

You could get Housing Benefit if you meet the following requirements:

  • you pay rent
  • you’re on a low income or claiming benefits
  • you have savings of less than £16,000
  • you're over State Pension age.

If you or your partner are under State Pension age and aren't already claiming Housing Benefit, you can claim Universal Credit to help pay your rent instead.

If you get the Guarantee Credit part of Pension Credit, your income and savings aren't taken into account – so you may get your rent paid in full by Housing Benefit.

If you own your home, you won’t be eligible for Housing Benefit, but you could get Support for Mortgage Interest to help you pay for your mortgage interest as part of Pension Credit instead.

Find out more about Support for Mortgage Interest

Are you entitled to extra money?

Do you know what benefits you are entitled to? Our Benefits Calculator can help you, quickly and easily, to find out what you could be claiming.

How do I claim Housing Benefit?

How to apply for Housing Benefit depends on which other benefits you're currently claiming.

If you already claim Pension Credit

Contact the Pension Service to apply for Housing Benefit with your claim for Pension Credit.

If you're not claiming other benefits

Apply for Housing Benefit through your local council. You’ll need to request a claim form – unless your local council accepts online applications.

You'll need to supply evidence to go with your claim, such as proof of your identity and of your income and savings, so it's worth gathering this together before you get started.

It's important that you're as specific as you can be when answering the questions in the claim form. 

You can contact your local ౦ or call the ౦ Advice Line on 0800 678 1602 if you need help completing the claim form.

It's a good idea to keep track of your claim – make notes of who you speak to and when, and check that the council has everything they need from you.

It shouldn't take longer than 14 days for the council to contact you and let you know their decision.

If your claim is turned down, ask your local ౦ for help or see our information on how to challenge a benefit decision.

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If you’re a council tenant, Housing Benefit is usually paid directly to your rent account, reducing the rent you actually have to pay. You should check your rent account regularly to make sure it’s being paid.

If you're a private or housing association tenant, your Housing Benefit may be paid into your bank account, or directly to the landlord.

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We offer support through our free advice line on 0800 678 1602. Lines are open 8am-7pm, 365 days a year. We also have specialist advisers at over 120 local ౦s.

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Last updated: Oct 05 2023

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