Who can claim housing benefit?

How you claim benefit depends on your age: whether you are of pension age or working age. If you have reached the date when you can claim pension credit, you are of pension age. Everyone else is considered a working age person.

For people of pension age

If you are a pension age person or in a partnership where both are pension age then you should claim housing benefit for help with your rent.

If you are in a mixed age partnership (one working age and one pension age) then the working age person will claim for help with rent from Universal Credit.

For people of working age

If you are

  • a single person
  • a person in a partnership and are both of working age

then help with rent will usually come from Universal Credit.

Please note that a working age person can make a new claim for housing benefit if you are living at certain specialist accommodation. Your landlord should tell you if you are in specialised accommodation to allow you to make a new claim for housing benefit. Specialist accommodation includes occupying somewhere that is temporary or supported accommodation, or a hostel or domestic violence shelter.

Housing benefit is a means tested benefit and the amount of help you may receive will depend on your household circumstances. Housing benefit cannot help you pay a mortgage, please contact the Universal Credit if you need help with this.

The council will pay housing benefit to you if you rent a property from:

  • the council
  • a Housing Association or
  • a private landlord.

If you pay rent to the council, the benefit is called a rent rebate. It is paid directly into your rent account.

If you rent a property from a Housing Association, the benefit is called rent allowance. It 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 (LHA). It is paid directly to you unless you are considered to be vulnerable.

Are you having difficulty paying your rent?

If you are having difficulty paying your rent because your rent is more that the LHA rates you may be entitled to Discretionary Housing Payment. Please contact our Customer Services Section on 01753 475111 for advice.

Contact Benefits

Contact the benefits team

Housing benefit - related pages