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How your Housing Benefit is affected when you move home

Updated: 20 Feb 2019
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Overlapping benefit may be payable if, for example, a disabled person needs to move quickly to get ground floor accommodation
Disabled adaptation Banbridge
There are specific Housing Benefit rules that apply when you are moving house. This is an overview of those rules - if you require more detailed information about your own circumstances please call us on 03448 920 902.

How do I make sure I get paid Housing Benefit at my new address?

If you are eligible for Housing Benefit at your new address, contact us immediately on 03448 920 902 and tell us the details of the change of address. You will have to complete and sign a form confirming details of the change of address. If you rent from a private landlord we will need to have an additional form completed by your landlord also (but not if your landlord is the Housing Executive, a hostel or a Registered Housing Association)

Can I receive Housing Benefit on two homes?

Normally Housing Benefit can only be paid on one home, that is the home in which you are living. However, in certain circumstances benefit can be paid on two homes, this is also known as “overlapping benefit” or “rent on two homes”.

How long is overlapping benefit paid for?

Overlapping benefit can only be paid for a maximum period of four weeks.

How do I claim overlapping Housing Benefit?

Contact your local office. Please supply all relevant supporting documentation such as letters from your old and new landlord.

Will overlapping benefit always be paid?

No, the Housing Executive will have to be satisfied that you have occupied the new home and that payment on two homes was unavoidable.

What is meant by occupied?

You must have moved yourself, your family and possessions into the new home from the first day your tenancy begins at the new address.

What is meant by unavoidable?

This depends on the facts and circumstances of the case: no two cases are ever the same. Some examples will help to illustrate this.
The Housing Executive is likely to accept that payment on two homes was unavoidable if:
  • Someone needs to move quickly to secure more suitably sized accommodation
  • A disabled person needs to move quickly to secure ground floor accommodation.
The Housing Executive is unlikely to accept that payment on two homes was unavoidable where:
  • A person simply failed to give notice to the former landlord
  • A person could have planned a move in advance but failed to do so

I have moved in to my parent’s house/residential home and need to give my landlord 4 weeks notice - can I get Housing Benefit for those 4 weeks?

Yes providing you satisfy all the other conditions of entitlement and no other tenant takes up occupation of the address you are leaving within the period of your 4 week notice.

I am waiting for a Social Fund loan before I move - can I get overlapping benefit?

No, overlapping benefit can only be paid once you have moved and only then if payment on both dwellings was unavoidable.