What is Housing Benefit?

What is Housing Benefit?

Who can claim?

Anyone who has to pay rent for their home and who is not in receipt of Universal Credit can claim. Boarders, lodgers, people in hostels and bed and breakfast accommodation can also claim.

In terms of claiming Housing Benefit:

  • you must be on low income
  • it doesn't matter whether you are in work or not
  • you can be employed or self-employed
  • you can get Housing Benefit even if you do not receive any other benefits
  • you may be single or have a partner
  • you may be a pensioner
  • you do not need to have paid any National Insurance contributions

Who can't claim?

If you are living with a member of your immediate family and paying them rent, you cannot claim Housing Benefit. 

You cannot get Housing Benefit to help with mortgage payments.

You cannot get Housing Benefit if you have capital of over £16,000, unless you are already receiving the guaranteed part of Pension Credit. Capital means savings, land, property or anything else which could provide you with income. 

Must students do not qualify for Housing Benefit but there are a few exceptions.

How much benefit could you receive?

To work out you benefit, we will look at the following:

  • money you and your partner have coming in (this includes; earnings, benefits, tax credits and pensions)
  • your savings and your partner's savings
  • your personal circumstances (such as; age, disability, having children and other people living in the household)

We calculate benefit according to rules agreed by Parliament.

We can pay up to a maximum of 100% of your eligible rent.

Your eligible rent may not be the same as the amount you actually pay because:

  • there may be some charges that are not eligible for benefit, or
  • some restrictions may apply

You can get an idea of how much benefit you may get, by using our online benefits calculator.

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