Housing Benefit

If you are on a low income and need help to pay your rent, in most cases you will now need to apply for Universal Credit from the Department for Work & Pensions.

However, you will still need to apply to us for Housing Benefit if:

  • you are of state pension age
  • you live in supported or temporary accommodation

To be eligible to claim you must:

  • rent your home privately, or through the Council or a Housing Association
  • live in the home you're claiming benefit for
  • be on a low income

You can't usually claim Housing Benefit if you're a full-time student or if you live in the home of a close relative. Housing Benefit cannot help with mortgage costs.

How much you will get

The amount of benefit you will receive is worked out by looking at:

  • your income
  • your personal circumstances
  • your savings
  • the amount of rent you have to pay
  • the type of landlord you have

If you rent from a private landlord, we will base your rent on Local Housing Allowance (LHA) rates.

How long your claim will take

We aim to process claims within 20 days of receiving your application. You can help speed up your application by supplying all the required supporting documents.

As soon as your claim is decided we will make a first payment of any benefit owing up to, and including, that week.

How you will be paid

Housing Benefit payments are made by bank (BACS) transfer. We no longer issue payments by cheque.

To find out what help you may be eligible for you can use our Benefits Calculator.

Make a claim

Please see our how to make a claim page.

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Page last updated: 13 August 2021

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