Housing Benefit

The information in this article is only relevant if you already have an existing claim for Housing Benefit. If you are making a new claim, you have to claim Universal Credit instead of Housing Benefit (unless very limited circumstances apply). Universal Credit can include an amount for rent or for mortgage interest.

Your Housing Benefit cannot help pay a mortgage, but if you work under 16 hours a week there may be benefits you can claim which include help with the mortgage (see Benefits if you are not working or only working a few hours a week).

Housing Benefit is paid by your local authority (council) so you should contact them if you have any queries relating to your existing claim. The amount you get will depend on your circumstances and how much rent you pay. Both your earnings and your tax credits affect the amount of Housing Benefit you can get, and other benefits you receive may also affect it.

Housing Benefit may be reduced if your total benefits are more than the benefit cap, unless you are exempt (if you or your partner work, you are usually exempt, but it will depend on your hours). If your Housing Benefit is not enough for you to manage your rent, it’s worth asking for discretionary housing payments. These are extra payments your local authority (council) can make to help with the rent if you get some Housing Benefit. Families with babies under 9 months and women who have reached 11 weeks before their due date are both people the local authority are supposed to consider when helping claimants affected by the benefit cap.

You should also check with your local authority (council) to see whether you can get any Council Tax Reduction to help with the council tax. This is a separate application to Housing Benefit.

There is more information on getting help with your mortgage and on Housing Benefit on the GOV.UK website. You can also use the benefits calculator on the websites Turn2Us or EntitledTo to check your entitlement to Housing Benefit and other benefits. Your local authority website will probably have some information about Housing Benefit.

This advice applies in England, Wales and Scotland. If you live in another part of the UK, the law may differ. Please call our helpline for more details

If you have further questions and would like to contact our advice team please use our advice contact form below or call us.

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