You could get Housing Benefit to help you pay your rent if you’re on a low income.
Housing Benefit can pay for part or all of your rent. How much you get depends your income and circumstances.
You can apply for Housing Benefit whether you’re unemployed or working.
You may get Housing Benefit if:
- you pay rent
- you’re on a low income or claiming benefits
- your savings are below a certain level – usually £16,000
You can apply if you’re employed or unemployed, but if you live with a partner, only one of you can get Housing Benefit.
Single people under 35 can only get Housing Benefit for bed-sit accommodation or a single room in shared accommodation.
Who isn’t eligible
Usually you won’t get Housing Benefit if:
- your savings are over £16,000 – unless you get Guarantee credit of Pension Credit
- you live in the home of a close relative
- you’re a full-time student – unless you’re disabled or have children
- you’re an asylum seeker or sponsored to be in the UK
If your circumstances change
Tell your local council if your circumstances change as this can affect how much you get.
For example, a child leaves school, your rent changes, you go away for more than a month.
What You Could Get
There’s no set amount of Housing Benefit. How much you get depends on:
- if you rent privately or from a council
- your household income and circumstances (including your partner’s)
Income includes money from savings (over £6,000), benefits and pensions.
You may get help with all or part of your rent – use the benefits adviser to work out what you could get.
From April 2013, if you live in council accommodation or other social housing and are assessed as having at least 1 extra bedroom in your house, your Housing Benefit could be reduced by:
- 14% if you have 1 extra bedroom
- 25% if you have 2 or more extra bedrooms
Ask your local council for details of how the changes will affect you.
How much you get is usually based on the Local Housing Allowance Limit in your area, your income and circumstances.
|1 bedroom (or shared accommodation)||Up to £250|
|2 bedrooms||Up to £290|
|3 bedrooms||Up to £340|
|4 bedrooms||Up to £400|
If you’ve been getting Housing Benefit since before 7 April 2008, these limits only apply if you:
- change address
- have a break in your claim for Housing Benefit
Council and social housing rent
How much you get depends on:
- your ‘eligible’ rent – eg what’s a reasonable rent for a suitable property where you live
- your household income
- your circumstances – eg your age, your family and their ages, if anyone in the family is disabled
- if you have to pay service charges – eg lift maintenance, communal laundry facilities
How you’re paid
Housing Benefit is paid by your local council as follows:
- council tenants – into your rent account (you won’t receive the money)
- private tenants – into your bank or building society account (rarely by cheque)
How To Claim
If you’re claiming other benefits
Contact Jobcentre Plus to claim Housing Benefit with your claim for the following benefits:
- Employment and Support Allowance
- Income Support
- Jobseeker’s Allowance
Jobcentre Plus will send details of your claim for Housing Benefit to your local council.
Telephone: 0800 055 6688
Textphone: 0800 023 4888
Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm
If you’re claiming Pension Credit
Contact the Pensions Service to claim Housing Benefit with your claim for Pension Credit.
The Pensions Service will send details of your claims for Housing Benefit to your local council.
Telephone: 0800 99 1234
Textphone: 0800 169 0133
Monday to Friday 8am to 8pm
Saturday 9am to 1pm
If you’re not claiming other benefits
Get a Housing Benefit claim form from your local council or send them form HCTB1.
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