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Apply for housing benefit

Should I apply for housing benefit or universal credit?

Housing benefit is a benefit to help people who are on a low income to pay their rent.

Universal Credit is a benefit for people of working age on a low income, which is administered by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). It's a single monthly payment which will eventually replace Income Support, Income Related Job Seekers Allowance, Income Related Employment Support Allowance, Housing Benefit and Working Tax Credit / Child Tax Credit

When to apply for housing benefit

You should apply for housing benefit if you fall into any of the categories below:

  • you are a pensioner - you have reached the qualifying age for State Pension Credit
  • you will be receiving the Severe Disability Premium until you are moved onto UC by the department for work and pensions in future
  • you reside in specified accommodation (this is where care is provided by or on behalf of the social sector landlord, a hostel, domestic violence refuge)
  • you reside in temporary accommodation (this is housing arranged by a council because they have decided that you are homeless)

In all of the above situations the accommodation must be allocated by the council or by a social housing provider through arrangements made with the council.

Who isn't eligible for housing benefit?

You won't be eligible for housing benefit if:

Housing benefit entitlement calculator

To find out if you qualify for housing benefit please use the housing benefits calculator

Special rules

There are special rules for:

  • students
  • people in boarding / lodgings / hostels
  • those who live in private residential care
  • nursing homes
  • people who have two homes
  • people who are temporarily away from home
  • people who live in someone else’s home

For more information please complete the housing benefits calculator.