How to claim housing benefit

How to apply

How to claim housing benefit depends on whether you make a claim for pension credit at the same time.

If you want to claim pension credit at the same time

You can apply for housing benefit when you make a claim for pension credit.

The Pension Service will forward your housing benefit claim to your council.

If you only want to claim housing benefit

Claim direct from the council if you’re just making a housing benefit claim.

Most councils allow phone or online applications. Some might send you a paper form to complete.

Getting your claim backdated

Housing benefit can be backdated if you were entitled to claim earlier but didn't.

If you're pension age, your claim can be backdated automatically for up to 3 months.

If you’re working age, you can ask for your claim to be backdated for up to 1 month if you have a good reason for not claiming earlier. For example, serious illness.

Information to include in your claim

When you apply for housing benefit, you’ll need to include information about:

  • your partner and members of your household

  • income and savings

  • rent and any service charges you pay

If you provide the wrong information, you could get too much housing benefit and have to repay it.

Evidence you must provide

You may be asked for the following documents to support your claim:

  • ID and national insurance number

  • tenancy agreement, rent book or letter from landlord

  • bank statements (for last 3 months)

  • payslips

  • other benefit award letters

The housing benefit office will check your documents. Tell them if you have problems getting hold of any paperwork.

Ask the housing benefit office to copy important documents so they can be returned to you immediately.

You must submit all supporting evidence within 1 month of making your claim.

Last updated: 14 May 2019

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