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Making a claim for Housing Benefit
In this section
- About Housing Benefit
- Housing Benefit entitlement
- Understand Housing Benefit letters
- Rent limits
- Local Housing Allowance
- Social Sector Size Criteria-Bedroom Tax
- Former house owners
- Making a claim for Housing Benefit
- What to do if your circumstances change
- Overpayment of Housing Benefit
- Direct Earnings Attachment (DEA)
- Private landlords
- More help with paying your housing costs
- Information for Non-UK / Irish nationals
- Lone Pensioner Allowance
- Self-employed Income
- Housing Benefit online forms
Qualifying for Housing Benefit
You may qualify for Housing Benefit if you:
- live in Northern Ireland.
- Are on a low income or claim benefits; and
- have housing costs (rent and/or rates) for a property you live in as your main home.
You can only make a new claim for Housing Benefit if:
- You are of State Pension Credit age or older (if you have a partner you both need to be of pensionable age to apply for Housing Benefit);
- You live in temporary accommodation that the Housing Executive has placed you in; or
- You live in supported accommodation (including sheltered housing for older people).
To check if you are State Pension Credit age, please visit:
Completing a claim for Housing Benefit
There is one Housing Benefit application form for all tenure types. This includes if you are:
- A Housing Executive tenant;
- A Housing Association tenant;
- An Owner Occupier;
- A Private Rented tenant;
- A Hostel Resident;
- Placed in temporary accommodation by the Housing Executive or Social Services; or
- Placed in a hotel or bed and breakfast accommodation.
If you would like to claim Housing Benefit, the easiest way to apply is by using our online form.
It is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Once you have completed and submitted the application form, it will be sent directly to your local Housing Benefit Unit for assessment.
If you provide details of your email address, you will also receive an automated email receipt.
Before you make the claim please read our section 'Completing the form' (on this page).
Click the button below to start your claim.
Other ways to claim Housing Benefit:
- download the Housing Benefit Claim Form (PDF 1MB)
- visit any Housing Executive office to pick up a form
- phone Housing Benefit on 03448 920 902 | NGT (Next Generation Text): 18001 03448 920 902 and ask for a form
Once you have completed your Housing Benefit form, please return it to us. Find your nearest:
Completing the form
Before you start, please read the information below in the following sections:
- Proof of identity required and
- Evidence required
You do not need to provide proof of your identity if you:
- Are a Housing Executive tenant;
- Are a housing association tenant;
- Are homeless and a Full Duty Applicant (FDA);
- Have received Housing Benefit in the last three years; or
- Are receiving:
- Income Support
- Jobseekers Allowance (Income Based)
- Employment and Support Allowance (Income Related)
- Guarantee Pension Credit
- Universal Credit
You must read the other sections on this page before completing the Housing Benefit form.
Proof of identity required
You will need to supply proof of you and your partner’s (if applicable) identity:
You will need to supply evidence to support your claim for Housing Benefit. Please check the details below.
Backdating Housing Benefit claims
We can backdate your claim for up to one month if you:
- are aged between 16 years old and State Pension age: and
- can show us ‘good cause’ prevented you making a claim (like an illness)
We can backdate your claim for up to three months if you:
- are of state pension credit age
Submitting evidence for Housing Benefit
To submit evidence for your Housing Benefit claim please click on the link below and complete the form:
Or you can bring it to your nearest Housing Executive office
Any delay in sending your evidence will slow down your application and may mean you miss out on help.
Change in Circumstances
You must tell us if you have a change in your circumstances.
You have to do this even if you are waiting to find out if you will get Housing Benefit. If there are any changes after you get Housing Benefit you must also tell us immediately.
Find out more about what you need to do our section:
Housing Benefit payment
Housing Benefit payments usually start from the Monday after we receive your application.
We pay Housing Benefit in the following ways:
- For Housing Executive tenants it is paid each week to your rent and rates account
- For housing association tenants or tenants living in the private rented sector it can be paid to you every 2 weeks (in arrears). Alternatively, it can be paid to your private landlord, letting agent or housing association every 4 weeks in arrears.
For Owner Occupiers: the Housing Executive will credit your Housing Benefit award directly to your rate account with Land and Property Services and you will not receive any payments directly from the Housing Executive.
Housing Benefit and Rate Relief for owner occupiers is paid in advance to the end of the rating year in one of these ways:
- A lump sum for the whole rating year 1 April to 31 March; or
- From the start of your claim to the end of the rating year (31 March).
If your Housing Benefit and Rate Relief entitlement changes during the year, the amount you have to pay to Land and Property Services could increase or decrease.
The information in this section is for general advice only.
Contact your local Housing Benefit office if you have any queries.
- Find your nearest Housing Benefit office
What to do if your circumstances change