What is Housing Benefit?
Housing Benefit helps social housing tenants on a low income pay all or part of their rent. So, if your home is let by a local authority, registered housing association, private landlord or other registered provider you may be eligible to claim Housing Benefit. If you rent from a private landlord please visit our Local Housing Allowance page to find out about this type of Housing Benefit.
Please note Housing Benefit doesn’t cover the costs of:
- fuel for heating, lighting, hot water or cooking even if these are included in the rent you pay
- water and sewerage charges
- mortgage payments
- ground rent and maintenance charges
- meals included in your rent
Can I get Housing Benefit?
To qualify for Housing Benefit, you must:
- be on a low income
- be the person responsible for paying the rent
You can claim Housing Benefit whether you’re working, unemployed, retired, disabled, single, married or in a civil partnership (Word, 23kb). You can also claim even if you don’t receive any other benefits or haven’t made any National Insurance contributions.
Please note you may not be entitled to Housing Benefit if:
- you’ve come to live in the UK from abroad
- you’re a full time student
- you live in residential care or a nursing home
- you have savings over £16,000
How much benefit will I get?
If you’re of working age, how much benefit you get depends on:
- your circumstances
- how much rent you’re due to pay
- the number of bedrooms you need
Housing Benefit rules allow one bedroom for:
- every adult couple (married or unmarried)
- any other adult aged 16 or over
- any 2 children of the same sex under 16
- any 2 children regardless of sex under 10
- any other child
- a carer (or team of carers) who don’t live with you but provide you or your partner with overnight care
This is known as the size criteria measure - find out more in our Welfare Reform section.
If you’re of pension age, how much benefit you get depends on your circumstances and how much rent you’re due to pay.
How to apply
Please complete our online benefit application form.
You‘ll need evidence to support your claim (Word, 34kb).
For any other help or information, you can contact us.
- if you’re married, in a civil partnership or living with a partner, you can only make one claim for both of you
- if you live with other people who you share the cost of your rent with, you can still claim benefit but this will only be calculated on your share of the rent
- if you’re away from home for a period of time we may still be able to continue helping you - please read our Away from home information leaflet (PDF, 151kb) for more information
Once you have applied we’ll work out your Housing Benefit entitlement by looking at:
- all the money you and your partner have coming in - eg earnings, benefits, tax credits, pensions
- any savings (PDF, 17kb) you and your partner have
- your circumstances
Payment calendar of Housing Benefit by BACS (PDF, 61kb).
What if the amount of benefit I’m entitled to isn’t enough?
If the amount of benefit you’re entitled to isn’t enough to pay your rent, we could offer you a Discretionary Housing Payments