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Housing Benefit

If you're on a low income and struggling to cover your rent, you might be able to claim Housing Benefit.

What is Housing Benefit?

Housing Benefit is money to help you cover your rent if you're living on a low income.

Rent can eat up a big chunk of your income each month, especially if you’re struggling to pay other living costs. Housing Benefit could help you meet those costs and save you some worry.

How much Housing Benefit could I get?

Housing Benefit is a means-tested benefit. This means the amount you get depends on a few different factors:

If you get the Guarantee Credit part of Pension Credit, you might get your rent paid in full by Housing Benefit.

Am I eligible for Housing Benefit?

You could get Housing Benefit if you meet the following requirements:

  • you pay rent
  • you’re on a low income or claiming benefits
  • you have savings of less than £16,000
  • you're over State Pension age.

If you get the Guarantee Credit part of Pension Credit, your income and savings aren't taken into account – so you may get your rent paid in full by Housing Benefit.

If you own your home, you won’t be eligible for Housing Benefit, but you could get help paying for your mortgage interest as part of Pension Credit instead.

If you or your partner are under State Pension age and aren't already claiming Housing Benefit, you can claim Universal Credit to help pay your rent instead.

What extra money are you entitled to?

Do you know what benefits you are entitled to? Our Benefits Calculator can help you, quickly and easily, to find out what you could be claiming.

How do I claim Housing Benefit?

Where you should apply for Housing Benefit depends on which other benefits you're currently claiming.

If you already claim Pension Credit

Contact the Pension Service to apply for Housing Benefit with your claim for Pension Credit.

If you're not claiming other benefits

Apply for Housing Benefit through your local council. You’ll need to request a claim form, unless your local council accepts online applications.

You'll need to supply evidence to go with your claim, such as proof of your identity and proof of your earnings and capital, so it's worth gathering this together before you get started.

It's important that you're as specific as you can be when answering the questions in the form. You can contact your local Age UK or call Age UK Advice on 0800 169 65 65 if you need help completing it.

It's a good idea to keep track of your claim. Make notes of who you speak to and when, and check that the council has everything they need from you.

It should take no longer than 14 days for the council to contact you and let you know their decision.

If your claim is turned down, ask your local Age UK for help or see our advice on challenging a benefit decision.

If you’re a council tenant, Housing Benefit is usually paid directly to your rent account, reducing the rent you actually have to pay. You should check your rent account regularly to make sure it’s being paid.

If you are a private or housing association tenant, your Housing Benefit may be paid into your bank account, or direct to the landlord.

We're here to help

We offer support through our free advice line on 0800 678 1602. Lines are open 8am-7pm, 365 days a year. We also have specialist advisers at over 125 local Age UKs.

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Last updated: Apr 22 2022

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