Who is eligible for Housing Benefit?
You may be eligible for Housing Benefit if you satisfy the following criteria:
You pay rent
You are on a low income or claiming benefits
Your savings are below the threshold – normally £16,000.
If you live with a partner, only one of you can get Housing Benefit.
If you are single and under the age of 35, you can only get Housing Benefit for bed-sit accommodation or a single room in shared accommodation.
How much Housing Benefit are you entitled to?
There is no pre-defined level of Housing Benefit and your entitlement will depend on whether you rent privately or from your local council.
The amount of Housing Benefit you receive will depend on:
Your ‘eligible’ rent (this is the reasonable amount of rent for a suitable property in your area, which includes service charges for communal areas, such as lift maintenance)
If you have a spare bedroom (your Housing Benefit will be reduced if you live in council or social housing)
Your household income, which includes benefits, pensions and savings (over £6,000)
Your circumstances (for instance, the age of people living in your property).
How is your Housing Benefit paid?
Housing Benefit is paid by your council in one of two ways.
If you are a council tenant, you will not receive the money directly. Housing Benefit will be paid into your rent account.
As a private tenant, Housing Benefit is paid directly into your bank or building society account.
How do you claim Housing Benefit?
If you are claiming other benefits – If you are claiming other forms of benefit, contact Jobcentre Plus to claim Housing Benefit with your claim for these benefits:
Employment and Support Allowance
If you are claiming Universal Credit – If you are claiming Universal Credit, you can get assistance paying for housing with your Universal Credit payment rather than getting Housing Benefit.
If you receive Universal Credit, you will have to pay rent to your landlord directly.