Housing benefit: How to claim

Who can claim housing benefit

Housing benefit can help you pay your rent if you're on a low income and have savings below £16,000.

You can only make a new claim for housing benefit if one of the following applies:

  • you or your partner are pension age
  • you claim other benefits which include a severe disability premium
  • you're staying in a refuge, hostel or some types of supported or temporary housing

Otherwise, you must claim universal credit instead.

Mixed age couples

From 15 May 2019 you can't usually make a new housing benefit claim as a couple unless you've both reached pension age. Mixed age couples will usually have to claim universal credit instead.

If you already get housing benefit because one of you is pension age, you can continue to receive it after this date.   

You'll be financially worse off on universal credit so it's important to claim housing benefit and pension credit before 15 May 2019 if you qualify.  

Use the AgeUK benefits calculator to check your entitlement now

Who can’t claim

You can’t usually claim housing benefit if you:

  • have savings above £16,000 (unless you claim pension credit guarantee)
  • live with a close family member who you pay rent to
  • are a full-time student
  • are a care leaver aged 16 or 17
  • don’t meet immigration and residence conditions
  • are an asylum seeker

Last updated 12 Feb 2019 | © Shelter

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