If you are unemployed or on a low income and live in specified, homeless or temporary accommodation or of state pension age, Housing Benefit may provide help to pay your rent.
The amount you receive depends on your income and circumstances. It can cover part or all of your rent.
Housing benefit cannot be paid for heating, hot water or fuel.
Housing benefit does not help with council tax. If you are on a low income you may be able to get a reduction in your council tax. Visit our council tax page for more information.
You may be able to claim for an additional bedroom if:
To make a claim for an additional bedroom, please complete this application form [76kb]. The form also provides more details of the qualifying conditions and what information you are required to provide. Please also see our Additional Bedroom Allowance Privacy Statement.
If you do not meet any of the criteria listed, and you are struggling to make up the shortfall in your rent charge against any housing benefit payments you receive, you can apply for Discretionary Housing Payment.
For more information on eligibility for housing benefit, visit the Department for Work and Pensions website.
Most people cannot apply for housing benefit if they are receiving universal credit, applicants receiving universal credit. If you are in receipt of Universal Credit, you must also make a separate application to us for council tax reduction.
You can apply online using our online application form.
The level of evidence you need to provide depends on your income and circumstances. We may ask for the following evidence to support your application:
Please do not delay in applying for benefit whilst waiting for any of the information listed above.
If you need to send documents to support your Council Tax Reduction or Housing Benefit application you can do this:
When sending documents, please make sure you also provide the following information:
In certain circumstances, we may backdate your application for council tax reduction and housing benefit to a date before you made your application.
All requests for backdating must be made in writing and you must show good cause as to why you could not apply on time.
Applications from working age customers may only be backdated for a maximum of 1 month.
Applications from people of pension credit age should automatically be backdated for up to 3 months providing you or your partner did not receive income support, income based jobseekers allowance or income related employment & support allowance. Pension age claimants are not required to provide reasons for not applying sooner.
If you have been overpaid, we will write to you to advise you of the amount, period covered, reason and how we have worked it out. We will also advise you of how we intend to recover the overpayment.
You can make arrangements to repay overpaid benefit by phoning us.
In order to avoid overpayments and potentially court proceedings it is important that you tell us of any changes in your circumstances. By telling us you will help us keep your housing benefit. For more information, please visit our change in circumstances page.
If you think that the decision about your housing benefit is wrong, you can:
There is a time limit of one month from the date the decision is made to request this.