Make a claim
Housing benefit helps you pay your rent if you are on a low income - this is a ‘means-tested’ benefit.
If you get Universal Credit and this does not include help with your rent you can claim housing benefit.
If you and your partner have more than £16,000 in savings and investments you cannot claim (unless you receive Guaranteed Pension Credit). Second adult rebate can help if you are a single person who has to pay council tax and you have other adults living with you who are on a low income.
How do I claim?
You can complete a claim online, you can visit us in person or phone for advice on 0115 981 9911. You will need to provide all the original documents we ask for as soon as possible.
If you have not moved into your property you can still make a claim but you will need to complete a moving in form as soon as you move, this can be done online.
If you currently do not have any income you can still make a claim but you will need to complete a nil income form, this can be done online.
If you have made a claim for Universal Credit we will only be able to process your Council Tax Reduction claim. The DWP will provide help with your rent costs within your Universal Credit claim.
If you already get help, you can access your claim by registering through our online revenues and benefits system.
When should I claim?
Claim as soon as you need to. We can usually start paying benefit from the Monday after the day we get your claim. Sometimes, we can pay benefit from an earlier date if you have a good reason for not claiming earlier. If you want us to consider paying your benefit from an earlier date, tell us when you want benefit from and why you did not claim earlier. We can only backdate for up to one month if you are working age, and three months if you are of pension age.
How will my housing benefit be paid?
When we have worked out your benefit we’ll send you a letter telling you about it. If you are a private tenant, we’ll pay the housing benefit to you. There are some circumstances where we’ll pay it to the landlord. Housing benefit is usually paid in arrears. If we ask you for more information, please send it within one month or you could lose benefit.
How is my housing benefit worked out?
Housing benefit and council tax reduction will be worked out at the same time. Usually you only need to fill in one form. The amount of benefit you can get depends on your family circumstances, your income and your savings.
How will my income be worked out?
Your income will be the total amount you and your partner have coming in each week from all sources, including savings and investments. If you work, we will take off your ‘stoppages’ such as tax and National Insurance Contributions and half of any contributions you make to a pension scheme. We also count all other income such as state pensions, tax credits and any other benefits or pensions. Some benefits are ignored, for example Disability Living Allowance and Attendance Allowance, but we still need to know if you are getting them. We have to count income from savings and investments including; bank and building society accounts, post office accounts, stocks and shares, income bonds and so on.
Income from savings and investments
If you are 60 or over, and you have savings or investments of between £10,000 and £16,000 we will add £1 for every £500 or part of £500 you have, onto your weekly income figure. If you are under 60 and have savings and investments of between £6,000 and £16,000 we will add £1 for every £250 or part of £250 you have onto your weekly income figure. If you have more than £16,000 we cannot give you any benefit (unless you receive Guaranteed Pension Credit).