Qualifying for this benefit isn’t limited to just being out of work. If you are in work it could be worth checking to see if you are able to make a claim.
You won’t be able to claim though if you:
- Have savings over £16,000
- You live in a home of a close relative
- You’re a full time student unless you are disabled or have children
If you rent your property from a private landlord, your Housing Benefit will be calculated with the Local Housing Allowance rules.
If you live in council accommodation or other social housing, the most Housing Benefit you can get is the same as your ‘eligible’rent. (Eligible rent includes rent for the accommodation, charges for some services like lifts, communal laundry etc. Even if water charges, heating, hot water and lighting are included in your rent you won’t get housing benefit on these elements)
How much you get depends on:
- Money coming in
- Your savings
- Your circumstances: age, size of family and their ages, disablement.
- The amount of rent is reasonable for your home and the area you live
- The home is reasonable size for your family
If you are a council tenant, housing benefit will be paid direct to your rent account.
If you’re not a council tenant it is paid to you by cheque or direct into your bank account every 4 weeks.
Council Tax benefit is taken directly off your council tax bill. Once its worked out and applied you then receive a revised bill.
Housing benefit doesn’t affect any other benefits you get.
If you know you are about to move, you can claim up to 13 weeks before you move. This doesn’t necessarily mean you will get any money before you move in, it just organises everything beforehand.
[box type=”info”] When claiming benefits it’s a good idea to: Take copies of completed claim forms and letters before you send them off. Keep a record of the date, time and the person you spoke to if you contact them in person or by phone. If you think they have made a mistake in working out your claim its worth getting advice from CAB. Don’t assume just because they are a government agency doesn’t mean they always get it right or that you can’t appeal the decision. [/box]