This page is targeted at housing professionals. Our main site is at www.shelter.org.uk

Housing benefit

This content applies to England

This section provides information about housing benefit.

It covers eligibility for housing benefit, how to claim, how the amount of benefit is calculated, applicable benefit rates, payments, backdating, and overpayments.

What is housing benefit?

A general introduction to housing benefit and relevant legislation. 

Eligibility for housing benefit

This section explains who is eligible for housing benefit. 

Occupying the home

When someone can be paid housing benefit before moving in, on more than one home, or when temporarily away from home. 

Making a claim

How a claimant should make a claim for housing benefit. 

Backdated claims

Circumstances in which a claimant's housing benefit can be backdated. 

How housing benefit is awarded

How housing benefit is awarded, including the date that it is paid from, and the manner in which it is paid. 

Calculation of housing benefit

How housing benefit is calculated. 

Eligible rent and rent restrictions

What amount of the claimant's rent is used when calculating housing benefit. 

Benefit rates

Figures used to calculate housing benefit 

Changes in circumstances

What claimants must do if they have a change in circumstances. 

Underpayments of housing benefit

What happens if there is an underpayment of housing benefit. 

Overpayments of housing benefit

What happens if the claimant receives an overpayment of housing benefit. 

Housing benefit appeals

Who can challenge a housing benefit decision and time limits for reconsiderations and appeals. 

Complaints to the Ombudsman

How to make a complaint to the Ombudsman. 

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