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Housing benefit and council tax support

Claim housing benefit

If you need help paying your rent, in most cases you will now need to apply for Universal Credit.

You still need to apply for housing benefit if any of the following apply:

  • you are of state pension age
  • you're in certain types of exempt or specified accommodation
  • you're in temporary accommodation provided by our Housing Options team or
  • you're currently getting the severe disability premium or have done in the last month.

Who can claim

To make a claim, you must:

  • rent your home or pay rent as a tenant, lodger or boarder in a hostel or bed and breakfast
  • be on a low income or qualify for a benefit paid by the Department for Work and Pensions or the Pension Service
  • have savings of less than £16,000
  • live in the home you're claiming housing benefit for

In some circumstances you may be able to get housing benefit for two homes, including:

  • you've moved into other rented accommodation due to fear of violence
  • you're a large family and have been housed in two properties
  • you've moved to a new home but have to continue paying rent on your old home

You can't get housing benefit if you're a full-time student or you live with a close relative and pay them rent.

As you go through the claim form, we'll tell you what supporting evidence you need to provide and how you can do this. Check which documents we'll accept as proof

Claim housing benefit

What happens next

We'll assess your claim and provide an outcome. You must tell us straight away if there are any changes to your circumstances.

We usually pay your award from the Monday after the date we receive your claim.

If you have a good reason for not claiming earlier we may be able to backdate it. You can only claim for a backdated payment of up to one month if you’re working age, or three months if you’re pensionable age.