Making a claim for Housing Benefit

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 must provide a valid form of photographic identity from the following list:

  • Passport*
  • NI / GB / Ireland driving licence
  • National identity card from an EU member state
  • Electoral identity card
  • Translink over 60 Smartpass
  • Translink Senior Smartpass
  • Translink Y-Link Card
  • Construction Skills Identity Card
  • Student card
  • Work pass issued by a government Department, Agency or Local Authority

*EEA nationals or other world nationals must produce a passport or European National Identity Card.

Supply two of the following:

  • birth certificate
  • credit / debit card
  • bank statement
  • divorce / annulment papers
  • Home Office Standard Acknowledgement Letter
  • identity card issued by an EC / EEA member state
  • letter from solicitor / social worker / probation officer / Inland Revenue / PSNI
  • life assurance or insurance policies
  • marriage certificate
  • medical card
  • National Insurance Number card
  • UK Residence Permit
  • utility bill for previous quarter
  • wage slip from current employer
  • current and valid driving licence (not NI / GB / RoI)

Evidence required

You will need to supply evidence to support your claim for Housing Benefit. Please check the details below.

  • Statements and books which show bank account details for at least the last three months. This includes accounts you hold with a bank, building society, credit union and/or post office
  • Premium Bonds, National or Ulster Savings Certificates , ISAs, stocks, shares and unit trusts
  • Confirmation of ownership of all property (letter from solicitor or mortgage holder)

We need evidence of Capital, Savings and Investments if the total for you and your partner is:

  • more than £5,000 if you are aged between 16 and State Pension age; or
  • £9,000 if you are of Pension Credit age.

If you are working:

  • your last five weekly, three fortnightly or two monthly payslips; or
  • a certificate of earnings (this is within HB PDF form) signed by your employer

If you are self-employed:

For more information, visit our section on:

You must notify us if:

  • a third child (or more) joined your household after 11 May 2017; and
  • they are included in your Child Tax Credit notification

Provide confirmation of private or occupational pension for you and your former partner / spouse.

  • Court order award notices or Child Support Agency letters giving details of maintenance
  • Confirmation of parental maintenance if no court order is in place
  • Letters confirming student grants and loans

We will consider payments for childcare when calculating Housing Benefit. 

You must make childcare payments to one of the following:

  • a registered child minder, nursery or play scheme
  • a foster parent providing childcare to a child other than their own foster child
  • a domiciliary care worker
  • out of school hours service provided by a school on school premises
  • a person who carries out the care in the child’s home and is not a relative of the child. A childminding certificate is not required in this instance

We will need proof that you make payments for childcare including:

  • a childminding certificate of registration (see final point above)

  • confirmation from your child care provider(s) detailing the name(s) of the child(ren) they look after

  • proof of payments.

Your landlord or their agent should complete the online:

In exceptional circumstances we will accept the tenancy agreement signed by you and by your landlord or their agent.

If you own and occupy your home, you must provide your most recent rate bill from Land and Property Services showing your annual rate charge.

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:

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.



What to do if your circumstances change