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. 

How liability for rent affects housing benefit

Who is eligible to claim Housing Benefit. 

People who are excluded from claiming

Which claimants are ineligible for housing benefit. 

Not liable to pay rent

Situations where tenants will be treated as not liable to pay rent, and therefore ineligible for housing benefit. 

How housing benefit is calculated

An overview of the stages involved in calculating housing benefit. 

Capital in housing benefit calculations

How capital and income are assessed in the calculation of housing benefit. 

Housing benefit non-dependant deductions

How deductions can be made from a claimant's housing benefit when other adults are also living in the claimant's home. 

Housing benefit before moving to new home

Information on situations where housing benefit will be paid before a claimant moves in to a new home. 

Payments on more than one home

Situations where housing benefit can be paid on more than one home. 

Temporary absences from home

When housing benefit will be paid where the tenant is temporarily absent from home. 

How to make a housing benefit claim

How a claimant should make a claim for housing benefit. 

Backdated housing benefit claims

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

Payment of housing benefit

How often housing benefit is paid, and the manner in which it can be paid. 

Date from which housing benefit is paid

When housing benefit will be awarded from. 

How quickly housing benefit should be paid

How quickly payment should be made after an initial claim, and entitlement to interim payment 

Duration of housing benefit award

How long an award of housing benefit lasts and the date on which an entitlement ends. 

Extended housing benefit payments

Extended payments under which claimants who start work can continue to receive housing benefit for four weeks. 

Restrictions for private rented sector tenants

The restrictions applicable to the eligible rent of a private rented sector occupier in receipt of housing benefit. 

Restrictions for social rented sector tenants

The restrictions applicable to the eligible rent of a social rented sector tenant in receipt of housing benefit. 

Service charges covered by housing benefit

Which service charges can be covered by housing benefit. 

Pre-tenancy determinations

How tenants can apply for a pre-tenancy determination for a property, to show what rent figure will be used in calculating housing benefit. 

Changes in circumstances

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

Housing benefit rates

Figures used to calculate housing benefit 

Underpayments of housing benefit

What happens if there is an underpayment of housing benefit. 

Recovery of housing benefit overpayments

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. 

Back to top