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Housing Benefit special circumstances 

Normally, Housing Benefit is only payable for 1 home from the date you move in.

In special circumstances benefit can be paid:

  • for 2 properties at the same time
  • up to 4 weeks before you move in
  • for a notice period of up to 4 weeks, where you couldn't avoid paying rent on a former home but weren't able to apply for housing benefit

Can I get Housing Benefit on 2 properties?

You may be able to claim housing benefit for 2 homes for the following reasons:

Moving home

You've moved into a new property and couldn't reasonably have avoided paying rent on your old and new home at the same time.

This benefit can be paid for a maximum of 4 weeks.

Fear of violence

You've left a property and remain absent for fear of the violent behaviour of a former family member.

To be eligible you must meet the following criteria:

  • you must intend to return to your property
  • you must have a liability on that property and the property you're now living in
  • it's reasonable to meet the rent on both properties

This benefit can be paid for a maximum of 52 weeks.

Large families

You have a large family and that has been housed in 2 separate properties.

There's no time limit on this benefit.

Students

You may be able to claim for 2 homes if you and/or your partner are regarded as eligible students and it's unavoidable that you occupy 2 separate homes.

There's no time limit on this benefit.

How to apply

To claim housing benefit on 2 homes, complete and return a Two homes application form (Word, 61kb).

Can I get Housing Benefit before I move into a property?

We can pay Housing Benefit for a maximum of 4 weeks before you move into a new home if you've had to make payments on that home prior to moving in and you meet 1 of the following criteria:

  • your move was delayed while necessary adaptations were made to your new home to meet the disabled needs of you or a family member
  • your move was delayed because you were waiting for the results of a social fund application for your new home and a disability premium applies or your family includes a child under 5 or a pensioner
  • you had to make payments on your new home while you were a patient in residential care, hospital or a nursing home

How to apply

To claim housing benefit on a home before you have moved in;

Apply online

You will need evidence to support your claim (PDF, 130kb).

Can I get Housing Benefit for a period of notice?

In certain situations we can pay benefit for a notice period, even if there is no liability where you are now living. This is possible in the following situations:

  • you are in hospital, and initially expected to return home but your stay became permanent or you moved to a care home
  • you were suddenly taken into hospital
  • you were sentenced to a custodial term of more than 13 weeks

A period of up to 4 weeks can be given, if the liability on the former home could not reasonably have been avoided, and you were otherwise entitled to Housing Benefit for that period.

How to apply

To claim housing benefit for a period of notice, please submit a written request to us. 

Contact Benefits

Email

benefits@north-ayrshire.gov.uk

Telephone

01294 310000

Address

In writing:

North Ayrshire Council, Benefits Section, Bridgegate House, Irvine, KA12 8LS

In person:

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