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How to apply for Housing Benefit in Northern Ireland

Updated: 19 Nov 2018
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You can now apply for Housing Benefit online.
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Do you live in a Universal Credit area?

If you live in Armagh, Ballycastle, Ballynahinch, Ballymoney, Banbridge, Bangor, Belfast, Carrickfergus, Coleraine, Cookstown, Dungannon, Downpatrick, Fermanagh, Foyle, Kilkeel, Larne, Limavady, Lisburn, Lisnagelvin, Lurgan, Magherafelt, Newcastle, Newry, Newtownabbey, Newtownards, Omagh, Portadown, or Strabane you may have to make a claim for Universal Credit instead of Housing Benefit.  
If you do live in one of the areas listed above, before starting a Housing Benefit claim either:
  • telephone 03448 920 902 (text phone 18001 03448 920 902) and speak to your local Housing Benefit Unit; or
  • visit your local Housing Executive office.

How to apply for Housing Benefit

You may qualify for Housing Benefit if you:
  • live in Northern Ireland; and
  • are on a low income (including earnings); or
  • claim benefits; and
  • pay rent and / or rates.
Unless you receive Guarantee Pension Credit you cannot qualify for Housing Benefit if the value of your, or your partner’s (jointly), savings, capital and investment is greater than £16,000. You may still qualify for rate relief.

Housing Benefit calculator

To find out how much Housing Benefit you may be entitled to, you can use our online Housing Benefit calculator. If you are a private tenant you must find out what rate of Local Housing Allowance will apply to your particular circumstances before using the Housing Benefit calculator.

Owner occupiers

If you are an owner-occupier please see nidirect about help with rates.


Most full-time students (i.e., more than 16 hours of guided learning each week) do not qualify for Housing Benefit. There are exceptions including students who are:
  • disabled;
  • over 60;
  • those receiving Child Benefit for their children; or
  • under 19 and following a course of further education up to age 19.

If you think you qualify for Housing Benefit you can

It’s quick and easy
Complete by hand and post in or bring it to your nearest Housing Executive office

I’ve applied but need to submit evidence

Evidence must be with us within one calendar month of your submitting your application. It is a legal requirement for you to do so.
If you’ve submitted a claim then send us the evidence online by scanning and attaching the documents requested.  
If this is not possible please call into your nearest Housing Executive office with the evidence or telephone us for further advice. Any delay will hold-up the start of your assessment.

Landlord / Landlord Agent

A Certificate of Occupation should be completed by a landlord or their agent as evidence of private rent and tenancy.