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Housing Benefit

Housing Benefit is administered by local councils. For all claim enquiries, including anything related to your personal circumstances, please contact your local council.

You could get Housing Benefit to help you pay your rent if you’re on a low income.  Housing Benefit can pay for part or all of your rent, whether you’re unemployed or working. How much you get depends on your income and circumstances.  You may also be able to get help with your rent if your benefits stop.

Housing Benefit can’t be paid for heating, hot water, energy or food - if you need help, use the benefits calculator at the bottom of the page, to see what else you might be entitled to.

What you'll get depends on your eligible rent, if you have a spare room, your household income - including benefits, pensions and savings (over £6,000) and your circumstances - e.g. age of people in the house, if someone has a disability.

Your Housing Benefit could be reduced if you live in council or social housing and have a spare bedroom. The reduction is:

  • 14% of the eligible rent for 1 spare bedroom
  • 25% of the ‘eligible rent’ for 2 or more spare bedrooms

For example, if your eligible rent is £100 and you have 1 spare bedroom this means your Housing Benefit will be reduced by £14 per week.

The following are expected to share:

  • an adult couple

  • 2 children under 16 of the same sex

  • 2 children under 10 (regardless of sex)

The following can have their own bedroom:

  • a single adult (16 or over)

  • a child that would normally share but shared bedrooms are already taken, e.g. you’ve 3 children and 2 already share

  • children who can’t share because of a disability or medical condition

  • a non-resident overnight carer for you or your partner (but only if they must stay overnight

One spare bedroom is allowed for an approved foster carer who is between placements but only for up to 52 weeks from the end of the last placement and a newly approved foster carer for up to 52 weeks from the date of approval if no child is placed with them during that time.

Rooms used by students and members of the armed or reserve forces will not be counted as spare if they’re away and intend to return home.

If you’re claiming other benefits

Contact Jobcentre Plus to claim Housing Benefit with your claim for the following benefits:

  • Employment and Support Allowance
  • Income Support
  • Jobseeker’s Allowance

Jobcentre Plus will send details of your claim for Housing Benefit to your council.

Jobcentre Plus
Telephone: 0800 055 6688
Textphone: 0800 023 4888
Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm

If you’re claiming Pension Credit

Contact the Pension Service to claim Housing Benefit with your claim for Pension Credit.

The Pension Service will send details of your claims for Housing Benefit to your council.

Pension Service
Telephone: 0800 99 1234
Textphone: 0800 169 0133
Monday to Friday, 8am to 8pm
Saturday, 9am to 1pm

If you’re not claiming other benefits

Get a Housing Benefit claim form from your local council or send them form HCTB1. The form comes with notes to help you fill it in.

What you need to know

You might also be able to get your claim backdated - ask your council.

You can claim in advance by up to 13 weeks (or 17 weeks if you’re aged 60). For example, because you’re moving. You won’t usually get any money before you move.



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