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Housing Benefit basic information

Housing Benefit helps you pay your rent if you are on a low income.

Who can claim Housing Benefit?

Anyone who pays rent for a property they occupy as their home. For example:

  • Tenants living in council properties, hostels and housing association accommodation.
  • Also privately rented accommodation although the allowance for these tenants is known as Local Housing Allowance. The Council pays this benefit but the rates for different size properties are set by the rent officer service.
  • Anyone in receipt of Universal Credit living in Supported Accommodation. 

How is Housing Benefit worked out?

We look at:

  • How much money you have coming in and your personal circumstances.
  • The amount of savings you have (more than £16,000 will normally disqualify you unless you are receiving Pension Credit - Guarantee Credit).
  • The circumstances of your household members (age, sex, disabilities) and their relationship to you.
  • If you claim Housing Benefit, we will take into account the amount of rent you have to pay and if you live in privately rented accommodation, what the current Local Housing Allowance rates are for whatever size of property your household needs. You can check the size of property your household needs by using the GOV.UK bedroom calculatorOpens new window .

How much will I be entitled to?

Use our  to obtain an estimate of how much benefit you might get.

When will my benefit start? 

To make sure your benefit/reduction starts from the earliest date possible, you should contact us as soon as you need benefit to tell us that you plan to claim. Benefit normally starts from the Monday after we receive your claim.

Changes in circumstances 

If you have applied for Housing Benefit and/or have been told that you have been given Housing Benefit you must tell us about changes that might affect your benefit straight away.

Tell us about a change in your circumstances..

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