Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit
If you are on a low income, whether you are working or not, and need financial help to pay all or part of your rent, you may be able to get Housing Benefit.
Who is eligible
You may get Housing Benefit if you pay rent and your income and capital (savings and investments) are below a certain level. You could qualify if you are out of work, or in work and earning a wage. There are also other factors that can be taken into consideration such as a disability.
Use the online benefits calculator to get an estimate of the benefits, including Housing Benefit, you may get.
You will not be entitled to Housing or Council Tax Benefit if any of the following apply:
- you are not the person liable to pay rent or Council Tax
- you have more than £16,000 in savings
- you are not a UK Citizen with some exceptions
- you live in the home of a close relative or you are a full-time student, unless you are a full time student who is also:
- Receiving Income Support
- or a lone parent or couple who are responsible for a child or foster child
- or disabled
- or under 19 and following a further (not higher) course of education
- or aged 60 or more.
Self- Employed Claimants
If you are Self-employed, benefit may be awarded if you can supply evidence of your takings and expenses or a projection of what your Self-employed Income will be. You could also complete one of our Self-employed earnings information forms (doc 126 KB). Any entitlement will be based on the calculation of income from these records. Your local area office will photocopy your record books. You may be asked to supply these at regular intervals until your business is established and you have been trading for a full year.
Most full-time students over 19 cannot claim Housing Benefit or Council Tax Benefit but there are exceptions for some students who are classed as vulnerable. i.e. If the student receives the disability premium, is a lone parent, have reached the qualifying age for pension credit, couples who are both students with dependant children, students under 19 and not in higher education. There are special rules for couples with children where one member is a full-time student.
Housing and Council Tax benefit is a means-tested benefit, so what matters is how much money you have coming in, rather than whether or not you are employed. If you are unemployed, or are on a low wage, you may be entitled to housing or council tax benefit. The best way to find out is to apply or use our online benefits calculator.
Claimants affected by size criteria changes
Some claimants have recently received information about changes to their benefit as a result of Housing Benefit restrictions in the Social Rented Sector as a result of the number of bedrooms that they have in their properties and their household composition. Further information, advice and support about these changes are available here.
If you are currently claiming Housing Benefit or Council Tax Benefit and are having difficulty paying the rest of the rent or council tax, then you may be entitled to Discretionary Housing Payments.
You maybe entitled to claim for Backdated Housing or Council Tax Benefit
Find out about changes to non-dependant deductions to Housing Benefit.