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Housing Benefit

What is it?

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 Reduction page for more information.

What will I get?

For more information on what you are entitled to, visit the Department for Work and Pensions website, or use our Online calculator and application.

Can I get any additional help?

You may be able to claim for an additional bedroom if:

  • You have an overnight carer.
  • You are a foster carer or kinship carer.
  • You have a child unable to share a bedroom because of a disability.
  • One of your household members (excluding partner) serves in the armed forces.

To make a claim for an additional bedroom, please complete this Additional Bedroom Allowance Application (PDF) [76KB] (opens new window) . The form also provides more details of the qualifying conditions and what information you are required to provide. Please also see our 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.

Who can apply?

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. If you are in receipt of Universal Credit, you must make a separate application to us for Council Tax Reduction.

How do I apply?

You can apply online using our  Application Form.

What proof do I need?

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:

  • You (and your partner's) identity and National Insurance number.
  • Where you live.
  • Your rent.
  • You (and your partner's) income.
  • Savings & Investments (you may still qualify even if you have savings).
  • Occupational pension (and partner's).
  • The circumstances of other people who live with you.

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:

  • Your name
  • Your postal address
  • Your National Insurance number
  • Your contact telephone number
  • Your email address (where possible)


Can my claim be backdated?

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.

What if I've been paid too much?

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.

What if my income or circumstances change?

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.

What if I don't agree with the decision?

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.

Related Content

Council Tax Reduction

Scottish Welfare Fund

Find out when your next Benefit payment is due

Contact Us

Privacy Statement

Last modified on 29 April 2024

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