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How to claim housing benefit

How do I claim benefit?

All claims must be made 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 if you have been granted:
      • Income Support;
      • Job Seeker's Allowance;
      • Employment and Support Allowance;
      • If you are claiming Pension Credit, the form should be returned 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.

This is based on your income and your personal/family circumstances. You will need to obtain a claim form from us. Once the form is returned, 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. The student should be entered 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?

Most full time students are excluded 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. Therefore, they will not be entitled to Council Tax Benefit.

When does benefit start and end?

Normally on the Monday following the date your application form is received by us, or Jobcentre Plus. 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 commence from the Monday. This is following the date you requested it. This will even apply if the claim is received on a Monday. It is very important that you send the form back as soon as possible. Any information to go with the form can be sent separately 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, you will normally be paid up to and including the Sunday following the date the change occurred. If you move out of your accommodation, you will normally be paid 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. You are required to inform us about changes in your circumstances when they arise. We will be undertaking checks on claims. We may write or visit you to verify the information you have provided.

Claim Form for Housing Benefit.