How to claim housing benefit

How do I claim benefit?

You must make your claim in writing. An application form is available from us, The Pension Service, or Jobcentre Plus. If you or your partner are claiming:

  • Income Support;
  • Job Seeker's Allowance (Income Based);
  • Employment and Support Allowance (Income Related); or
  • Pension Credit:
    • Make sure that you tell Jobcentre Plus/The Pension Service that you wish to claim Housing Benefit. This will help us calculate your claim;
    • Jobcentre Plus will forward the Housing Benefit forms to us. The Benefits Agency will also confirm to us if you are receiving:
      • Income Support;
      • Job Seeker's Allowance;
      • Employment and Support Allowance;
      • If you are claiming Pension Credit you should return the form to the Pension Service.

We may need further information from you. If we do, we will write to you. You may need to fill in one of our claim forms. Once we have received the information we will assess your claim. You can get and complete a Housing Benefit form from us as soon as you apply for:

  • Income Support;
  • job Seeker's Allowance;
  • Employment and Support Allowance;
  • Pension Credit.

If you are not in receipt of:

  • Income Support;
  • Job Seeker's Allowance (Income Based);
  • Employment and Support Allowance (Income Related);
  • Pension Credits.

you can still apply for Housing Benefit.

We base this on your income and your personal/family circumstances. You will need to get a claim form from us. Once you return the form, we will assess your claim.

If you live with a partner, you should only make one claim for both of you. It does not matter which of you claim, unless one of you is a student. If one of you is a student, and the other is not, the non-student should claim. You should enter the student as your partner on the form.

If you do not provide all the information, we will not be able to work out your claim.

Can students claim benefit?

There is an exclusion for most full time students from claiming benefit. If you are a full time student, you can only claim if you are:

  • Looking after a child;
  • A young person;
  • Aged 60 years or over;
  • Disabled;
  • Receiving Income Support;
  • Job Seeker's Allowance (Income Based);
  • Aged under 19 in further education, but not higher education;
  • Waiting to return to your course after illness;
  • Having had to care for someone.

All part time students can claim Housing Benefit.

Details and proof needed are:

  • Your grant;
  • Your parents' contributions;
  • Other income.

Students are normally exempt from the payment of Council Tax and not entitled to Council Tax Benefit.

When does benefit start and end?

Normally on the Monday following the date we, or Jobcentre Plus, receive your application form. You can request the claim form via:

  • A telephone call;
  • Letter;
  • Email; or
  • Visit.

As long as you return the form within one month, your benefit will begin from the Monday. This is following the date you requested it. This will even apply if we receive the claim on a Monday. It is very important that you send the form back as soon as possible. You can send any information to go with the form at a later date

If you wish your benefit to start from an earlier date, you can make a request for backdating. You can write to us, or complete an online request for backdating.

If entitlement to benefit stops, we will normally pay you up to and including the Sunday following the date the change occurred. If you move out of your accommodation, we will normally pay you up to and including the Sunday after you move out.

How often do I have to reapply for benefit?

You do not have to reapply for benefit. Please inform us about changes in your circumstances when they arise. We will be undertaking checks on claims. We may write to you, or visit you, to verify the information you have provided.

Last updated: Tuesday, 22 February, 2022.