Who can claim benefits

You can claim Housing Benefit if you pay rent on a home you occupy and you receive:

  • Income Support;
  • income-based Jobseeker's Allowance;
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance;
  • Guarantee Pension Credit; or
  • you are on a low income.

You cannot usually claim Housing Benefit if you are entitled to Universal Credit as your Housing Costs will be included in your Universal Credit payment.  

You can claim Council Tax Support if you are liable to pay council tax and you receive:

  • Income Support;
  • income-based Jobseeker's Allowance;
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance;
  • Guarantee Pension Credit, or
  • you are on a low income.

Are you working?

You can claim Housing Benefit and/or Council Tax Support if you are on a low wage, in full or part-time employment. The wage you receive will be used to calculate your support entitlement.

You may also qualify for an extended payment of support if you have come off Income Support or income-based Jobseeker's Allowance, Incapacity Benefit, Employment and Support Allowance or Severe Disablement Allowance. We will treat your new in-work claim as priority.

For further details please go to starting or stopping your benefit.

Students

Most full time students cannot get Housing Benefit and don't have to pay council tax. If you are a full time student you can only claim Housing Benefit if you are:

  • looking after a child, foster child or young person
  • aged 60 or over
  • disabled
  • receiving Income Support or income based Jobseeker's Allowance
  • aged under 20 in further education but not higher education, or
  • in non-advanced further education

All part-time students can claim Housing Benefit. You will need to give us documentary evidence of your loan, grant, course dates and course details. We cannot pay you benefit without this.

People from abroad

You may not be able to get Housing Benefit or Council Tax Support if you have come to live in this country within the last five years. If you think you are in this category please ask us for help. You may have to provide us with official documents proving what your status in the country is.

Renting property from a close relative or other family member

If you pay rent to a close relative that you live with you cannot get Housing Benefit. A close relative is a:

  • parent
  • step-parent
  • parent-in-law
  • brother
  • half-brother
  • sister
  • half-sister
  • son
  • son-in-law
  • daughter
  • daughter-in-law
  • step-son
  • step-daughter, or
  • the partner of any of the above.

If you are renting a property from a family member who does not live in the same house, you can claim Housing Benefit. However we will ask you questions regarding the nature of the tenancy and your liability to pay rent in order to decide whether or not we can pay Housing Benefit.

Residential care and nursing homes

Housing Benefit does not cover payments for either residential care or nursing homes.

Savings over £16,000

You usually cannot claim Housing Benefit or Council Tax Support if you have savings or capital with a value over £16,000. However, if you claim and are entitled to receive Guarantee Credit you can claim Housing Benefit and/or Council Tax Support.