New claims for Housing Benefit
We may be able to provide you with Housing Benefit to help you pay your rent.
Whether you can get Housing Benefit, and the amount you can get, is based on a number of things; including your income and savings, your personal circumstances and the number of people living with you.
We may not use all the rent your landlord charges to work out Housing Benefit.
Want to know how much you may be entitled to?
Try our Housing Benefit and Council Tax Support calculator
If you are self employed or a student please contact us for more information.
Before starting your calculation you will need to have the following information available:
- details of the income and benefits received by each household member
- the total balances for all your accounts (this includes any savings, Post Office or current), for yourself and your partner, if applicable
- the amount of rent you are charged
- your Local Housing Allowance rate – if you do not know this, please see LHA rates
- the amount of Council Tax you are charged per year
If you have all the information above here is the online benefit calculator.
Already have a claim?
View the details online using the 'My Account' link above.
Want to make a claim?
Complete and return an application form.
If you want to claim Council Tax Support as well as Housing Benefit, you only need to complete one claim form.
If you have claimed Income Support, Jobseekers Allowance, Employment and Support Allowance or Pension Credit, your details may already have been passed to us by the Department for Work and Pensions.
Please claim straight away and provide all the documents requested on the form, otherwise your claim will be delayed.
What evidence do we need?
When you claim Housing Benefit and Council Tax Support you need to provide us with original documents to support your application.
The documents we require are shown on the benefit claim form and accompanying notes. Further details are available on our evidence for your benefit claim page.
When we have received all the information we need from you, we will work out how much benefit you are entitled to and write to you with the details. This will normally take up to ten working days.
The date we start your claim for Housing Benefit is usually the earliest of the following: -
- the Monday after the date you first told us you wanted to claim
- the Monday after the date your application is received by us
If you have reached the qualifying age for Pension Credit your claim can be automatically backdated for a maximum of three months.
If you are of working age and you want your claim to be backdated you need to tell us why you could not claim earlier. Please see our backdated Housing Benefit page for more information.
If you think your benefit is wrong please see our Housing Benefit appeals page for further details.
Who can claim?
You can claim Housing Benefit if you pay rent to live in your home and you are on a low income (even if you are working). You must live in the UK, occupy your home, and be paying rent on it. Your joint finances will be assessed in cases where you have a partner.
You can't claim Housing Benefit if:
- you are not liable to pay rent
- you have more than £16,000 in capital (either you or your partner, or you and your partner together unless you receive the Guarantee Credit part of Pension Credit)
- you live in a nursing home or residential care home
- you are a full time student in higher education (unless you are in an exempt category, for example single parents)
- you are living in the same household and paying rent to a close relative, an in-law or employer
- you rent a former joint home from your ex-partner
- you are the parent or guardian of your landlord's child
The rules and regulations are quite complicated, so please claim, even if you are not sure whether we can help. We will let you know if you qualify.
Payment of Housing Benefit
Most claims since 7 April 2008 are paid under the Local Housing Allowance (LHA) rules.
If the LHA rules do not apply payments may be made to the claimant, landlord or the landlord's agent.
If you are a Berneslai Homes tenant your housing benefit will be paid weekly directly to your rent account.
Change of circumstances
If your circumstances change in any way, please let us know as soon as possible. See our Housing Benefit change in circumstances page.