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Housing Benefit

Housing Benefit helps tenants, on a low income, pay all or part of their rent.

Types of Housing Benefit

There are two types of housing benefits:

  • rent allowance - if you rent from a housing association or private landlord
  • rent rebate - if you rent from North Ayrshire Council

If you rent from a private landlord, visit our Local Housing Allowance page.

Who qualifies for Housing Benefit?

To qualify you must:

  • be on a low income
  • occupy the property as your home
  • be the person responsible for paying the rent

Who can make a new claim for Housing Benefit?

You can only make a new claim for Housing Benefit if you:

  • have reached State Pension Age
  • live in supported, sheltered or temporary accommodation

Otherwise you should apply for Universal Credit if you need help with your housing costs. 

If you’re single and have reached State Pension age

You can make a new claim for Housing Benefit.

If you’re over State Pension age and live with your partner

You can make a new claim for Housing Benefit if any of the following apply:

  • you and your partner have both reached State Pension age
  • one of you has reached State Pension age and started claiming Pension Credit (for you as a couple) before 15 May 2019
  • you’re in supported, sheltered or temporary housing

If you’re over State Pension age and have an existing claim

Your existing claim will not be affected if, before 15 May 2019, you:

  • were getting Housing Benefit
  • had reached State Pension age

It doesn’t matter if your partner is under State Pension age.

If your circumstances change and your Housing Benefit is stopped, you cannot start getting it again unless you and your partner are eligible to make a new claim.

You can apply for Universal Credit if you’re not eligible.

If you’re in supported, sheltered or temporary housing

You can make a claim for Housing Benefit if you're living in:

  • temporary accommodation, such as a B&B arranged by North Ayrshire Council
  • a refuge for survivors of domestic abuse
  • sheltered or supported housing (such as a hostel) which provides you with ‘care, support or supervision’

If you do not get ‘care, support or supervision’ through your supported or sheltered housing, you can apply for Universal Credit to help with housing costs.

You can still apply for a Council Tax Reduction even if you do not qualify for Housing Benefit.

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 two children of the same sex under 16
  • any two 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.

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 may offer you Discretionary Housing Payment.


Apply for Housing Benefit

You'll need evidence to support your claim (PDF, 134kb).

Upload additional evidence

For help or information, please contact us.

Please note if you:

  • are married, in a civil partnership or living with a partner, you can only make one claim for both of you
  • live with other people, who you share the cost of the rent with, you can claim benefit - this will only be calculated on your share of the rent
  • are away from home for a period of time we may still be able to help

To work out Housing Benefit entitlement we look at:

  • all the money you and your partner have coming in, for example, earnings, benefits, tax credits, pensions
  • savings (PDF, 19kb) you and your partner have
  • your circumstances

Payment calendar of Housing Benefit by Bacs (PDF, 129kb)

Fair Processing Notice

The council is under a duty to protect the public funds it administers. Thus, we may use the information you have provided for the prevention and detection of fraud. 

We may also share this information with other bodies responsible for auditing or administering public funds for these purposes. 

Further Information

For more information on the National Fraud Initiative you can contact the Corporate Fraud Team:

Contact Benefits


Email the Benefits Team


01294 310000


In writing:

North Ayrshire Council, Benefits Section, Cunninghame House, Irvine, KA12 8EE

In person:

  • Customer Service Centre, Bridgegate House, Irvine, KA12 8BD
  • The Town Hall, Countess Street, Saltcoats, KA21 5HW