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Housing Benefit/UC Housing Element

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 £16,000) 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 number of bedrooms needed is based on the number, age and sex of people who live in the claimant's household. The bedroom requirement is calculated as follows:

one bedroom for the claimant and partner (over 16 - including same sex couples)
one bedroom for other person aged 16 or over
one bedroom for any two children of the same sex aged under 16
one bedroom for any two children regardless of sex who are less than ten years old
one bedroom for any other child

If the claimant is single and aged under 35, the category of property considered appropriate is a bedroom in shared accommodation. This means a property in which the claimant has the exclusive use of one bedroom, but shares one or more of a kitchen, a bathroom, a toilet or a room suitable for living in.

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 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.

Discretionary Housing Payments are free standing payments that the council can make to persons on Housing Benefit who need extra help with their rent; other rent payments including rent in advance and rental deposits (where the council's other departments cannot assist); and other lump sum payments associated with your housing needs such as removal costs.

There are some rental costs that payment from this fund cannot help you with such as service charges and rent arrears and any reduction that you may have had to your benefit due to a sanction or deduction being imposed.

Check the benefit calculator on the Herefordshire Council's website (www.herefordshire.gov.uk)

To apply for this benefit, contact us:

Telephone: 01432 260333

Fax: 01432 260436

Email: benefits@herefordshire.gov.uk

Address: Benefits Section, Income and Awards, PO Box 224, Hereford HR1 2XW

Visit one of our customer service centres and get a Housing Benefit claim form or send them form HCTB1. The form comes with notes to help you fill it in