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Housing Benefit

If you are on a short income, whether you are employed or not, and if you are someone who is in need of a financial assistance to pay all or a part of your rent, you might be able to get a Housing Benefit. Find out more, including who is qualified and how to claim.

Who is qualified?

You may possibly obtain Housing Benefit if you pay the rent and your earnings and capital (savings and investments) are below a certain level. You could be eligible if you are out of work, or in work and earning a wage.

Use the online benefits adviser to get an estimation of the benefits, including Housing Benefit that you may get.

Who isn’t qualified?

You usually cannot get Housing Benefit if:

You hold funds of over £16,000 (except if you are 60 years of age or over and are receiving the ‘guarantee credit’ of Pension Credit)

You reside in the home of a close family member

You’re a full-time student (unless if you’re disabled or someone who has children)

You’re a refuge seeker or are supported to be in the UK

Additional restrictions

If you reside with a partner or civil partner; only one of you can acquire Housing Benefit.

If you’re single and under 25 years of age, you can only get a hold of a Housing Benefit for a bed-sit accommodation, or an individual room in a joint accommodation.

Significant modifications for people getting Child Benefit

Child Benefit no longer adds up as an income when estimating how much Housing Benefit or Council Tax Benefit you can acquire. This means that several people, who are presently receiving Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit payments, will receive more benefit with which to pay their rent and council tax. In addition, some low income families may now get Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit as a result of this change.

If you think you may now be allowed, contact your local council.

How much do you get?

If you rent or lease a property or a single room from a private landholder, your Housing Benefit will be calculated with the Local Housing Allowance rules.

If you live in council accommodation or other social housing, the most Housing Benefit you can get is the same as your ‘qualified’ rent.

What is ‘qualified’ rent?

Qualified rent includes:

Rent for the chosen accommodation

Charges for a few services (such as the lifts, shared laundry facilities, and play areas)

Even if it’s incorporated in your rent, you won’t get any Housing Benefit for the:

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  • Water bills
  • Charges for hot water, heating, lighting, and cooking
  • Expenses for food or fuel in accommodations or hostels


The amount of Housing Benefit you may possibly acquire also depends on:

Your individual and monetary conditions

Your local council will look at:

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  • The funds you and your partner or civil partner have coming in (including incomes, several benefits and tax credits, and job-related pensions)
  • Your financial savings (as well as your partner’s/civil partner’s financial savings)
  • Your conditions (such as your age, the size of your family and their individual ages, whether you or any of your family are disabled, and whether anybody who lives with you may perhaps help with the rent)


The particulars of your home and the rent you pay

Your council will also look at whether:

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  • The amount of rent is practical for your particular home
  • Your home is a sensible size for you and your family
  • The sum of rent is rational for the area where you live


Your ‘qualified’ rent may perhaps be limited to an amount that’s reasonable for a suitably sized property in the area you live.

How it’s paid

If you are a council occupant, your council will reimburse any Housing Benefit directly into your rent account.

If you’re not a council occupant, your Housing Benefit will be remunerated:

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  • Directly to you via cheque
  • By straight payment into your bank or building society amount
  • Outcome on benefits

    The Housing Benefit won’t change any other benefits you get.

    How to claim Housing Benefit

    You are able to claim Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit (together with Second Adult Rebate) with your claim for the succeeding benefits:

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    • Your Employment and support allowance
    • Wage support
    • Jobseeker’s compensation
    • Call Job Centre Plus on 0800 055 6688
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