Housing benefit aims to help you pay your rent if you’re on a low income or don’t have a job.
Universal Credit has replaced housing benefit for most people, so if you think you’re eligible for housing benefit you’ll probably need to apply for Universal Credit instead. It’s important that you make your Universal Credit claim as quickly as possible and that you claim at the right time.
Visit our Universal Credit page for more information.
You might still be able to get housing benefit if:
- You’re getting the severe disability premium or are at risk of getting it
- You’ve reached State Pension age (if you’re in a couple, both of you must have reached State Pension age)
- You live in a temporary/supported accommodation (we’ll be able to tell you if this applies to your home)You live in sheltered housing with special facilities
Get help from our financial support team
Our advisors are trained to give free, one to one support, if you're worried about money. If you're struggling to pay your rent, looking for benefits support or help with budgeting then give us a call. They can even help you find free clothing and interview coaching.
Housing Benefit FAQs
How do I claim Housing Benefit?
If you are eligible to make a claim for Housing Benefit then there are a couple of different ways you can do so depending on whether you’re claiming any other benefits right now or not. Either way, you’ll need proof of your rent, your savings and your regular payments.
If you’re already claiming other benefits but not Housing Benefit, then you need to move to Universal Credit.
Universal Credit contains a Housing Element that is paid directly to you and you are responsible for paying your full rent from your Universal Credit claim or other income, if you have any.
If you receive Pension Credit, you’ll also be able to claim housing benefit. The Pension Service will send your details to your local authority for you, but you’ll still need to start a new claim with them yourself. You can apply in most local authority areas on-line or by giving them a call and asking for a form.
If you’re only applying for housing benefit, you can start a new claim through your local authority. And remember, the sooner you claim, the sooner you can get help. Don’t put it off or you could lose out on money and might fall behind if you’re struggling to pay your rent.
How do I appeal a Housing Benefit decision?
How is Housing Benefit paid?
Housing Benefit will usually be paid straight to your landlord - in this case, Home Group. There’s also an option to have your housing benefit paid into your bank account so you can pay it directly to us, but you’ll need to request this first.
You’ll be asked to give your bank details when you claim. Bank accounts are available to everyone and there are fee-free basic bank accounts designed to make sure that you don’t accidentally incur extra charges. They’re free to open at all banks, building societies or credit unions.
Housing benefit is paid every four weeks as standard and is also paid in arrears - so it’s a good idea to add a little extra to your rent payments where you can so that your account is in credit. We ask that all of our customers aim to be in at least one month of credit.
Housing Benefit takes into account the household income and therefore you may have a shortfall to make up and pay directly to Home Group. Once you have an award for Housing Benefit we will be able to advise you of this. If you would like extra support to work out what this will be our Financial Inclusion Team can help. Just call our Customer Service team or your Housing Manager to refer you.
How do I report a change to my situation?
If you get help towards paying your rent and there is a change to your situation, such as a change to your rent, then you’ll need to contact your housing benefit department at your local authority to let them know as soon as possible.
This will probably make a difference to the amount of money you get, but your local authority can talk you through it all. Remember they might ask to see the letter we sent to you telling you about the changes. If you receive Universal Credit you’ll need to let the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) know about this change as soon as possible through your online account.
It's really important that you stay on top of any changes as you can only claim up to one month of backdated payments.
How do I claim backdated housing benefit?
You can now only claim for one month of backdated payments. So, if we do make a change to your rent or your circumstances change, you’ll need to report it straight away to make sure you don’t lose out on any money. Don’t forget, you’ll need to prove your claim too so keep track of any paperwork along the way!
You’ll still be responsible for all rent you owe to Home Group, even if you lose out on your benefit, so it’s really important that you keep on top of any changes to your rent and let us know in plenty of time.
If you claim Universal Credit, you’ll need to inform the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) of the change.
Don’t worry, we’ll always write to you to give you notice of any upcoming changes, so you should be able to get in touch with your local authority or DWP and have everything sorted out within the one month period.
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Talk to our financial inclusion team
Our team are trained to give free, one to one support, if you're worried about money. If you're struggling to pay your rent, looking for benefits support or help with budgeting then give us a call. They can even help you find free clothing and interview coaching.