Housing Benefit

Housing Benefit can help you pay your rent if you’re on a low income.


You can claim Housing Benefit if you pay rent and your income, savings and investments are below a certain level.

You are unlikely to be eligible if:

  • you are of working age (16 to 66) and are not already getting Housing Benefit – you must apply for Universal Credit instead
  • you have savings of over £16,000, unless you are aged 60 or over and receive the ‘guarantee credit’ of pension credit
  • you live in the home of a close relative
  • you’re a full-time student, unless you are disabled or have children
  • you’re an asylum seeker or are sponsored to be in the UK

If you live with a partner both of you must be of pension age for you to be able to claim Housing Benefit.

How much you will get

Use our benefits calculator for an estimate of how much you could receive.

Eligible rent

Your Housing Benefit will not exceed your 'eligible' rent. This is the amount used to work out your benefit, but it may not be the same as your full rent.

Eligible rent includes:

  • rent for accommodation
  • charges for some services, such as communal laundry facilities or play areas

Even if the following are included in your rent, you won't get any Housing Benefit for:

  • charges for water, heating, hot water, lighting, or cooking
  • payments for food or fuel in board and lodgings accommodation or hostels

Your home and the rent you pay

We ask whether:

  • the amount of rent is reasonable for your particular home
  • your home is a reasonable size for you and your family
  • the amount of rent is reasonable for the area where you live

Your eligible rent could be limited to an amount that's reasonable for a suitably sized property in the area you live.

Your personal and financial circumstances

The amount of housing benefit you could receive also depends on:

  • the money you and your partner or civil partner have coming in, including earnings, some benefits and tax credits, and occupational pensions
  • your savings (and your partner's or civil partner's savings)
    • If you are of state pension age, capital under £10,000 will not affect your benefit entitlement.
    • If you are under state pension age, capital under £6,000 will not affect your benefit entitlement.
    • Above these amounts, a notional income from those savings will be assumed. If your capital exceeds £16,000, you will not be entitled to housing benefit or many other welfare benefits.
  • your circumstances, such as your age, the size of your family and their ages, whether you or any of your family are disabled, and if anyone who lives with you could help with the rent

You must include all your income. This includes anything that we might not use in the calculation, such as disability benefits.

We have decided to disregard some incomes above any statutory disregards, but you should declare them anyway. We do not count:

  • War Disablement Pensions
  • War Widows Pensions
  • Armed Forces Compensation
  • Independence Payments

Make a claim

You can make a claim online. Find our more about how to make a benefit claim.

How housing benefit is paid

Council tenants will have their housing benefit paid directly to their housing rent account.

Private tenants will have their benefit paid directly to their bank account. In some circumstances your benefit can also be paid directly to your landlord.

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