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How is Housing Benefit paid?

If you are entitled to Housing Benefit then this can be paid in a number of different ways depending on what type of property you live in. You may find that your first payment is for more than your normal regular amount because it includes a back payment from the date you claimed.

Council tenants

If you are a council tenant then your Housing Benefit will be paid to your rent account once a week. Any benefit you get is taken off your full rent leaving you with less rent, or no rent, to pay.

Your local district housing office will be able to give you an update on the amount of rent you have left to pay.

Private tenants

Most private tenants are paid every 2 weeks, in arrears. If you are paid by a direct credit to your bank account (BACS), you will find the money reaches your account every other Wednesday.

If we are sending you a cheque, this should reach you every other Thursday. If you would like to have your Housing Benefit paid directly into your account as this is a safer and quicker method of payment, download and complete the form below and then email to

PDF Document BACS form (PDF, 35KB)Opens new window

If you are one of the small number of people whose Housing Benefit is paid directly to your landlord, it will be paid every four weeks in arrears. This includes people whose landlord is a Housing Association.

Payments direct to landlords

Housing Benefit for most people in privately rented properties can only be paid directly to the landlord when the claimant can't manage their financial affairs, is unlikely to pay their rent or has 8 weeks rent arrears or more.

PDF Document Landlord's request for direct payments (PDF, 47KB)Opens new window

More information about this can be found on our advice for landlords page.

Things to remember

The safest way for us to pay Housing Benefit to private tenants is by a direct credit to your bank account. Use this form to ask us to do that for you.

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