rating button
Skip to main content

Coronavirus (COVID-19) For information on changes to our services, how to get help, support your community, advice and grants for employers and businesses visit our Coronavirus pages.

  1. Home
  2. Council tax and benefits
  3. Housing benefits and Universal Credit
  4. Apply for Housing Benefit

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:

  • are of State Pension Age
  • are getting, or recently stopped getting a benefit with a severe disability premium
  • are living in specified accommodation where care and support is being provided

Your eligibility to claim housing benefit will be affected by:

  • your income which includes your earnings, other benefits and tax credits
  • 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

Complete and return the claim form:

Please check that you have provided the evidence required as your application cannot be processed without it. The evidence checklist is on page 27 of the form.

Deciding applications

We aim to process complete applications within 14 days. If we need further information to support your claim we will contact you, please ensure we have a contact number on your claim form. This will speed up the processing of your claim. We will let you know when your claim has been assessed.

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

Payment of housing benefit

Paying Benefit into a bank account

If you can get assistance we can pay the money directly into your bank account:

  • Either put your bank accounts details on your claim form
  • or call the benefit team on 01594 812531

Payment of Housing Benefit to 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 direct if their tenants meet the criteria in the safeguard policy, The tenant needs to fill in the application form.

More information is available on our Landlord advice and forum page.

Housing Benefit rates

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 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 LHA rates.

Housing Association tenants

Your Housing Benefit could be reduced if you live in a Housing Association property and have a spare bedroom. For more details about the spare room subsidy see GOV.UK