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How to apply for Housing Benefit in Northern Ireland

Updated: 20 Aug 2017
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You can now apply for Housing Benefit online.
HB Online Image
You may qualify for Housing Benefit if you:
  1. live in Northern Ireland; and
  2. are on a low income; or
  3. claim benefits; and
  4. pay rent and / or rates (if you are an owner-occupier please see nidirect about help with rates).
You cannot get Housing Benefit if you, or your partner jointly, have more than £16,000 in savings and capital, however, you may be entitled to ‘rate relief
If you are in receipt of Pension Credit (Guarantee Credit) you may still qualify for Housing Benefit.

Apply for Housing Benefit Online

Complete your Housing Benefit form online – it’s safe, secure and will speed up your application.
As you go along it will tell you what you need to provide and how you need to provide it. But you can check the list at what we need from you.
You can still download and print out the Housing Benefit HB1 form and post it to your nearest Housing Benefit office.

Provide Further Evidence online

You can provide additional evidence to support your claim Further Evidence Online
We cannot decide your claim for housing benefit until you have completed the form and given us your evidence. The quicker you do this the sooner we can advise you of any entitlement you may have.

Certificate of Occupation

If you are in the Private Rented Sector your landlord will need to supply a ‘Certificate of Occupation’. Your landlord can complete this online at Certificate of Occupation for Landlords.

What happens next?

Once we receive your form we will make a decision on it and if you have supplied all of the evidence we will write to you and tell you whether you qualify or not.
If you do qualify we will tell you how much you will receive and the date your benefit will start.
Awards of housing benefit usually start from the Monday after we receive your claim. If you move into a new home and claim Housing Benefit in the same week, your claim may start from the day you move in.
If you want to backdate your claim to an earlier date, you will need to demonstrate a good reason for not making your claim earlier.  Backdating can only be considered for a maximum of one month if you are of working-age and up to three months if you are of pension age.

Do you claim Income Support or Income Based Job Seekers Allowance?

If you do your local Social Security Office can give you a Housing Benefit claim form (HB1) from, which you must complete and return to them.
If you are awarded Income Support or Income Based Job Seekers Allowance, the Social Security Office will forward the Housing Benefit claim form to us. You can also apply online directly to us.

Are you entitled to Pension Credit?

The Pension Service can supply you with a form for you to complete and return to them.  You can also apply online directly to us.

Further information

If you have any questions or queries
  • Call into your local Housing Executive office
  • Tel: 03448 920 902
  • Textphone: 18001 03448 920 902