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About Housing Benefit

A national welfare benefit paid by the council to help meet the cost of your rent

Housing Benefit can help meet the cost of your rent if you:

  • have a low income - whether you work or not
  • are responsible for paying the rent
  • live in the property

The amount of benefit you receive depends on:

  • the amount of rent you pay
  • whether anyone else (such as lodgers or grown-up children) live with you
  • the amount of money you have coming in each week
  • the amount the government says you need to live on

You can find further details on the GOV.UK website.


Universal Credit and Housing Benefit

Most new claims for housing costs from working age claimants now need to be applied for through Universal Credit. Please see our Universal Credit page for more details.

You will only be entitled to Housing Benefit if you (and your partner, if you have one):

  • are of State Pension age - check your State Pension age online
  • are resident in specified accommodation - specified accommodation is where you are living in a refuge or Local Authority hostel, or if your landlord is 'not for profit' and/or a registered social landlord, and you are receiving care or support as part of your tenancy in order to address a recognised need
    (if you live in specified accommodation you can still claim UC but you will also need to claim housing benefit to cover your rent)
  • are resident in temporary accommodation, secured by the council in accordance with a statutory homelessness duty

If your circumstances (and those of your partner, if you have one) do not fall within at least one of the above groups, the council's Benefits team will not be able to award Housing Benefit, if you submit a claim. The only response we will be able to provide will be to direct you towards applying for Universal Credit.

You are likely to lose benefit if you are late in submitting a claim for Universal Credit.


Making a claim

If you believe that you are eligible to claim Housing Benefit for help with your rent, please visit our Housing Benefit and Council Tax Reduction claims page to find out how to make a claim.

If you are already receiving Housing Benefit and/or Council Tax Reduction and your circumstances have changed, please Icon for doc report the change(s) to us [792KB] .

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