Housing benefit

What is housing benefit?

Housing benefit helps you pay your rent if you are on a low income and is a means tested benefit. Housing benefit cannot help you pay a mortgage: you will need to contact the Department for Work and Pensions if you need help with this.

Your local council pays housing benefit whether you are renting a property from the council, a Housing Association or from a private landlord. 

  • If you pay rent to the council the benefit is called a rent rebate and is paid directly into your rent account. 
  • If you rent a property from a Housing Association the benefit is called rent allowance and can be paid directly to you or to your landlord. 
  • If you pay rent to a private landlord the benefit is called Local Housing Allowance and is paid directly to you unless you meet specific vulnerability criteria.

Try our benefit calculator to see what help you can get.

Application form

See How to claim for an application form and proof required.

Accessing your claim details

You will need to register to be able to view:

  • assessment notifications
  • details of your award
  • payment information

Once registered, you will be able to view details of your claim.

Contacting us about your benefit claim

We do not usually acknowledge receipt of any documents received.

We normally respond to enquiries in date order, unless there are other pressing matters, for instance action to evict you by your landlord, so make sure you tell us all about these. All written communications are stored on our document imaging system and cannot be lost. We are taking around:

  • 24 days to process benefit claims and
  • 12 days for changes affecting benefit and charges.

We will write to you to inform you of the outcome. This could be a letter or a revised invoice.

Please call 01753 475111 if you need an urgent response.