Who can claim Housing Benefit
If you are on a low income and need help paying your rent, you can claim Housing Benefit if:
- You and your partner are of state pension credit qualifying age or
- You live in temporary accommodation or
- You live in specified accommodation
- You pay rent to a private landlord or social housing such as us, the council, or a housing association
- You live in the property you pay rent for
By ‘temporary accommodation’, we mean housing arranged by a council, because they have decided you are homeless.
By ‘specified accommodation’, we mean a property where you are getting substantial care, support or supervision, either from the landlord or from someone on their behalf and the landlord is one of the following:
- A housing association
- A registered charity
- A not-for-profit voluntary organisation
- An English non-metropolitan county council
- A local authority hostel
- A domestic violence refuge
Otherwise, you need to claim Universal Credit from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).
The amount you can get
This will depend on:
- the income and capital you and your partner have
- your own situation, such as who else lives with you, and whether you’re disabled
- the amount of rent you have to pay
Once you know it is housing benefit you need to claim (not Universal Credit) use entitledto’s free benefit calculator to find out how much you could get.
If you rent your home from a private landlord, we will work out your benefit using the Local Housing Allowance rules.
Why you might not get housing benefit
We can refuse your claim if we think your rent arrangement:
- Is not commercial, for example because it cannot be lawfully enforced
- Was set up only to get housing benefit or take advantage of housing benefit
We may not be able to pay housing benefit if you:
- Or your partner used to own the home and your ownership ended within the last five years
- Live in your home as a condition of your work or your partner’s work
- Live in your home because you are a part of a religious order that covers your living costs
If you get housing benefit at the moment and become a student, you can carry on getting it if you are:
- Studying part-time
- Under 19 and on a course below degree level
- Getting Income Support, income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) or income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
- A single parent
- Living with a partner and you are both full-time students and you have children who depend on you
Students making brand new claims for help towards their housing costs will need to claim Universal Credit. Only students who have children or are disabled can get Universal Credit.