Claiming Housing Benefits
You can claim Housing Benefit if:
- You or your partner are liable to pay rent for your home to a private landlord or landlady, a housing association or the local council, and
- You are on Income Support, Job Seekers Allowance (Income Based)**, Employment and Support Allowance (Income Related),Guarantee element of Pension Credit or
- You have a low income, even if you are in full-time work or self-employed.
If you have made/are about to make a claim for Job Seekers Allowance (Income Based) and you are single, without children or a disability you may be required to claim Universal Credit.
Please note: in some circumstances, you can be treated as the liable person, even though you are not the person who is named on the tenancy agreement.
You cannot get Housing Benefit if:
- You (or your partner) have capital or savings of £16,000.00 or more (some capital can be disregarded, contact the Benefits Section for further information)
- You pay rent to a close relative or the partner of a close relative who lives in the same home as you
- You do not pay rent on a commercial basis
- You own the house where you live
- You pay rent to an ex-partner for all or part of a home where you previously lived with your landlord as partners.
- You or your partner is responsible for your landlord's child.
- Most full-time students cannot claim Housing Benefit, contact the Benefits Section for further information
If you are not sure whether you could claim Housing Benefit or not, please contact the Benefits Section for further information.
Benefit is calculated by comparing your household and personal circumstances with your income and savings/capital. We also have to take into account any other adults who live with you.
How will my Housing Benefit be paid?
If you are a Council Tenant
We will credit your Housing Benefit direct to your rent account at the beginning of every rent week.
If you are a Housing Association or private tenant
We will make a payment via BACS every four weeks.
We usually have to pay your Housing Benefit straight to your landlord if you are 8 weeks or more in arrears with your rent payments.
How to make a claim
You need to fill in the application form for Housing Benefit
- You can collect an application form from the City Offices, or
- telephone the Benefits Section on 01962 848539
- e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org asking for a form to be sent by post
- download a copy of the Housing and Council Tax Reduction Application Form and the Guidance notes for making an application (see attachments below)
How to get your claim processed quickly
To get your claim processed quickly you should bring all of the documents listed below to City Offices.
- Complete the Housing and Council Tax Reduction application form answering ALL questions.
- Bring your form including original documents and proof of identity (see below for more information).
- Remember that you will need proof of income and savings for everyone living in your household over 18 years of age.
Proof of Identity and National Insurance Number
You will have to prove your identity by providing proof of your National Insurance Number(s) for both you and your partner. An original document with the number on it must be provided. Acceptable proof is listed below:
- Printed (not hand-written) payslips
- Income Tax letter
- Notification letter from the Department for Work & Pensions
- National Insurance number card
If you do not have a National Insurance number or an original document with the number on it, you must provide TWO different original forms of identification, for example:
- Driving Licence
- Current Passport
- Birth Certificate
- Medical Card
- Bank Statement
Proof of income
If you or your partner are employed, you must provide;
- last 5 wage slips if paid weekly
- last 3 wage slips if paid every 2 weeks
- last 2 wage slips if paid monthly or four weekly
If you or your partner are self employed, you must bring your most recent accounts. If you cannot provide these, or have only recently become self employed, please complete the self employed application form at the bottom of this page or contact the Benefits Section.
If you are receiving any benefit or pension we will need to see proof, for example a notification letter.
Proof of savings and investments
We will need to see your last 2 full months bank statements for all accounts, passbooks or certificates showing all savings and investments.
Proof of rent
This can be one of the following;
- Rent account
- Tenancy agreement
- Rent book with a letter from your landlord
- Rent proof form (obtainable from the Benefits Section) or from the link at the bottom of this page
You must only provide original documents (we will not accept photocopies)
If you do not supply all of this information, it will mean that we cannot award any benefit or your claim may be delayed.
What will happen then?
A decision will be made on your claim within 3 working days.