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.

IMPORTANT - You cannot usually claim Housing Benefit if you're entitled to Universal Credit as your housing costs will be included in your Universal Credit payment.  For information about which benefit you should claim please visit this page.

You can claim Council Tax Support if you're 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.
     

Calculate your benefit

Click here to use our Benefits Calculator.  It'll give you a guide to what you may be entitled to before you complete a claim form.

Are you working?

You can claim Housing Benefit and/or Council Tax Support if you're 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've come off Income Support or income-based Jobseeker's Allowance, Incapacity Benefit, Employment and Support Allowance or Severe Disablement Allowance. We'll 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're 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'll 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've come to live in this country within the last five years.  If you think you're 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're renting a property from a family member who doesn't live in the same house, you can claim Housing Benefit.  However, we'll 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 doesn't 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.