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How to make a claim for Housing Benefit

Updated: 28 Nov 2015
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We can explain how your Housing Benefit is worked out
Young couple in doorway
Anyone who has to pay rent or rates for their home can make a claim for Housing Benefit. It does not matter if your landlord is:
  • the Housing Executive
  • a housing association
  • a private landlord
You can also claim if you:
  • live in a hostel
  • live in bed and breakfast accommodation
  • are a boarder or lodger
You cannot, however, get Housing Benefit if you are paying rent to a close relative (such as a parent, brother or sister) that you are living with.
You do not need to be unemployed to get Housing Benefit but you cannot get it if you have savings of over £16,000, (unless you are receiving Guaranteed Pension Credit).

Owner Occupiers

If you are an owner occupier and you need help to pay your rates charges you must make a claim for Housing Benefit to Land and Property Services. You can call them on 0300 200 7802

What can I claim Housing Benefit for?

Housing Benefit is most commonly payable for a person who has rent and/or rates charges to pay for the home they live in. It can also be used to meet some service charges.
You cannot however get Housing Benefit to help you pay meal costs, fuel charges or cleaning your home

How do I make a claim for Housing Benefit?

All claims for Housing Benefit must be made on an approved application form.
You can make a claim for Housing Benefit directly to the Housing Executive. Forms are also available from your local Social Security Agency. You can make a claim for Housing Benefit when you make an application for Pension Credit. The Pension Service will send you a Housing Benefit claim form to complete. You can then return the form to the Pension Service or send it to the Housing Executive.
If you are not entitled to Income Support or Job Seeker’s Allowance (Income Based) you must make your claim to the Housing Executive.
Please note, if you are entitled to Housing Benefit, the date we receive your application may affect the date your award will begin.
What other information has to be provided to support my Housing Benefit claim?
Details of the evidence we require is set out in the Housing Benefit application form. If you provide this additional information when you make your application this will allow us to decide your claim much more quickly.
However we will write to you if we require any further information to support your claim. Most new claimants will have to provide evidence of their identity (and their partner’s identity if applicable). You will also have to provide evidence of selected incomes such as earnings from employment and occupational pensions as well as any capital you possess (bank accounts, shares, property etc.)
If I am entitled to Housing Benefit when will my payments begin?
The date that you return your form will have an effect on the date that we can begin payment. Generally we can only award Housing Benefit from the Monday after the date that we receive your application form. The law permits limited exceptions to this rule (see for example Backdating).