If you’re struggling to cover your rent then you could claim Housing Benefit to help with your housing costs.
What is Housing Benefit?
Housing Benefit is money to help people on a low income to cover their rent.
How much money could I get?
Housing Benefit is a means-tested benefit. This means the amount you can get depends on:
- your savings
- who you live with
- how much rent you pay
- how many rooms you have in your home
- if you get disability or carer’s benefits (such as Carer’s Allowance, Attendance Allowance or Personal Independence Payment).
If you get the Guarantee Credit part of Pension Credit you may get your rent paid in full by Housing Benefit.
How could Housing Benefit help me?
Rent can eat up a big chunk of income each month, especially if you’re a pensioner struggling to pay other living costs. Housing Benefit could help you to meet those costs and save you some worry.
Am I eligible to claim Housing Benefit?
You could get Housing Benefit if:
- you pay rent
- you’re on a low income or claiming benefits
- you have savings less than £16,000
If you get the Guarantee Credit part of Pension Credit your income and savings are not taken into account so you may get your rent paid in full by Housing Benefit.
If you own your home, you won’t be eligible for Housing Benefit, but you could get support with your mortgage interest as part of Pension Credit instead.
|If you're of working age and claiming in an area where Universal Credit has been introduced, you should claim Universal Credit instead.|
How can I claim Housing Benefit?
Step one: Find out who you need to contact to claim Housing Benefit:
- If you're not claiming other benefits, you should apply for Housing Benefit through your local council. You’ll need to request a claim form or some local councils allow you to apply online.
- If you already get Pension Credit, contact the Pension Service to claim Housing Benefit with your claim for Pension Credit.
- If you get Income Support, Employment and Support Allowance, or Jobseeker’s Allowance, contact Jobcentre Plus to apply for Housing Benefit with your claim for these other benefits.
Step two: You can contact your local Age UK or call Age UK Advice on 0800 169 65 65 if you need help with the claim forms.
If you’re not claiming other benefits and applying for Housing Benefit through your local council:
Step three: You’ll need to supply supporting evidence to go with your claim, such as proof of identity, and proof of your earnings and capital.
Step four: Keep track of your claim – check with the council that they have everything they need from you. Keep a note of who you talk to and when.
Step five: It should take no longer than 14 days for the council to contact you and let you know their decision. Write to the housing department to complain if it takes longer.
What if my claim is turned down?
If your claim is turned down, ask your local Age UK for help or see our page on challenging benefits decisions
What should I do next?
What benefits can you claim?
Do you know what benefits you are entitled to? Age UK's Benefits Calculator can help you, quickly and easily, to find out what you could be claiming.