General Information

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 benefits@winchester.gov.uk 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)