Housing Benefit

Universal Credit will replace Housing Benefit for most working age claimants from 22 November.


New claims for Housing Benefit after the 22 November 2017 can only be considered if you:

  • are of State Pension Age; or
  • have more than two children; or
  • are living in specified accommodation where care and support is being provided

 Also affecting if you can claim Housing Benefit:

  • 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

Apply for Housing Benefit

Apply for Housing benefit 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.

Universal Credit

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.

If you want to claim help with your housing costs for any period prior to 22 November 2017 you will need to request backdating of Housing Benefit which can only be considered up to that date and claim Universal Credit for ongoing assistance with your rent.

Further information about Universal Credit can be found on our Universal Credit page.

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.

Backdating a claim

If you haven't been able to apply for benefits immediately we may be able to backdate your application - for more details see:

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.

For details of the Local Housing Allowance (LHA) rates, please:

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