What is Housing Benefit and who can claim

What it is

Housing Benefit is a means-tested welfare benefit to help you to pay for all or part of your rent.

We will look at your (and your partner’s) income and capital, and the income of anyone living with you, to work out if you are entitled to the benefit and how much you are entitled to.

You could get Housing Benefit if you are on other benefits or working but on a low income.

You can claim if you are renting a property from:

  • a housing association
  • a housing co-operative
  • a private landlord
  • via a managing agent

You can also claim if you are living in a hostel or shared accommodation and you are liable to pay rent.

Housing Benefit does not help with mortgages.

Who can claim

You can claim Housing Benefit if you:

  • are liable to pay rent
  • occupy the home on which Housing Benefit is to be paid
  • satisfy a means test

After you have sent us your application and all the required documents, we will carry out a means test which calculates how much Housing Benefit you are entitled to.

If you live with a partner, only one of you can make a claim for Housing Benefit.

You cannot claim Housing Benefit if you and/or your partner:

  • have more than £16,000 combined savings, unless you receive the Guarantee Credit element of Pension Credit
  • pay rent to a close relative, and that close relative lives in the same home
  • do not pay rent
  • are from abroad and are subject to immigration control

Your combined savings is the total amount of money you and/or your partner have in all of the following:

  • cash
  • bank current accounts, deposit accounts and savings accounts
  • National Savings accounts and certificates
  • Giro bank accounts and building society accounts
  • Post Office accounts
  • Individual Savings Accounts and Premium Bonds
  • shares and unit trusts
  • equity of land and buildings

Students who can claim

These students can claim if they are liable to pay rent:

  • part-time students
  • those under the age of 20 in further education
  • those that have reached pensionable age
  • disabled students
  • those who receive Income Support, Jobseeker’s Allowance (income based) or Employment and Support Allowance (income related)
  • those with children
  • those with non-student partners