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Apply for Housing Benefit

You may get Housing Benefit to help you pay your rent if you’re on a low income and meet one or more of the following:

  • you are single and of State Pension age or you are a couple and you are BOTH of State Pension age.
  • you receive Pension Credit and your capital is less than £16,000 unless you receive Guaranteed Pension Credit.
  • you are living in a property which has been designated as specified accommodation by the Local Authority, where care and support is being provided.
  • you are living in temporary accommodation having been placed there by the Local Authority’s Housing Team.

Your eligibility to claim Housing Benefit will be affected by:

  • your income, which includes earnings and benefits received by your household.
  • your savings, if they are less than £16,000 unless you receive Guaranteed Pension Credit.
  • the income of anyone else who lives with you such as grown up children or parents.

If you are on a low income and do not meet the criteria to claim housing benefit you will need to claim Universal Credit for help with your housing costs.

You can use a benefits calculator to see what you might be eligible for.

Apply for Housing Benefit

Evidence you will need to provide for you and your partner (if appropriate):

  • Proof of identity – passport, driving licence, birth certificate, marriage certificate
  • Proof of National Insurance number – payslip, benefit award letter
  • Proof of Universal Credit - Full breakdown of the latest Universal Credit award
  • Proof of benefits – latest award letter, bank statements
  • Proof of earnings – last five weekly/three fortnightly/two monthly payslips
  • Proof of self-employment – most recent set of audited accounts
  • Proof of private pensions – payslips, bank statements
  • Proof of capital – statements for all bank/building society/post office/PayPal accounts held showing balance & transactions for last two months, ISA statements, share/Premium Bond certificates
  • Proof of non-dependant income – payslips, benefit award letters, full breakdown of Universal Credit award

All supporting evidence must be provided within one calendar month of the application being submitted otherwise the application will be made defective. Evidence can be uploaded when you submit your application or emailed to [email protected] or posted to the benefits team here at the council.

Apply for Housing Benefit online

We are aware of an issue with forms not saving properly. If you need to save your form more than once: after each save, close your browser window and then reopen it and sign in again.

If you cannot apply online for any reason, contact the benefit team on 01993 861030 or email [email protected] to request assistance.

Check you have provided the evidence requested (either on the online form or by the benefit team) as your application cannot be processed without it.

Deciding applications

We aim to decide complete applications with all required supporting evidence within 14 days. We will let you know when your claim has been assessed.

Backdating a claim

If you haven't been able to apply for benefits immediately we may be able to backdate your application.

Housing Benefit rates

If you rent from a private landlord Housing Benefit is calculated under the Local Housing Allowance (LHA) scheme and is based on:

  • the area you live in which is known as the Broad Rental Market Area (BRMA)
  • the number of bedrooms you require
  • the shared room rate applies to applicants aged under 35

One bedroom is allowed per single adult applicant and adult couple plus one additional bedroom for:

  • any other adult aged 16 or over
  • any two children under the age of 10
  • any two children of the same sex under the age of 16
  • any other child

Find the the LHA rates for your household here.

If you rent from a registered social landlord, Housing Benefit is calculated based on your weekly eligible rent. The amount may be affected if you have a spare bedroom. For more details about having a spare bedroom, see GOV.UK.

Payment of Housing Benefit

Payment of Housing Benefit into a bank account

If you get assistance, we can pay the money directly into your bank account. Please supply your bank details on the application form.

Payment of Housing Benefit to registered social landlords

If you would prefer that we pay your Housing Benefit directly to your housing association landlord, please confirm this on the application form.

Payment of Housing Benefit to private landlords

In some circumstances we understand that the applicant may need payments to be made straight to their landlord. These circumstances could be that the applicant has:

  • learning difficulties
  • medical conditions
  • mental health problems
  • inability to open a bank account
  • debt problems
  • a history of rent or utility service arrears
  • undischarged bankruptcy
  • previous evictions

Landlords can be paid directly if their tenant meets the criteria in the safeguard policy. The tenant should make the request as part of the Housing Benefit application.

External support agencies

For further help see our list of external support agencies.