Housing Benefit


Housing Benefit can help you pay your rent if you are unemployed, on a low income or claiming benefits. It is being replaced by Universal Credit. 

You can make a new claim for Housing Benefit if any of the following apply: 

  • you are getting the severe disability premium, or are entitled to it 

  • you got or were entitled to the severe disability premium within the last month and are still eligible for it 

  • you have reached State Pension age 

  • you are in supported, sheltered or temporary housing 

If you are in supported, sheltered or temporary housing 

You can make a new claim if: 

  • you are living in temporary accommodation, such as a Bed and Breakfast arranged by your council 

  • you are living in a refuge for survivors of domestic abuse 

  • you are living in sheltered or supported housing (such as a hostel) which provides you with ‘care, support or supervision’ 

If you do not get ‘care, support or supervision’ through your supported or sheltered housing, you can apply for Universal Credit to help with housing costs. 

If you are in supported, sheltered or temporary housing, you can apply for Universal Credit to help with other living costs. 

Use a benefits calculator to check if you can get Housing Benefit before you apply. 

When you cannot get Housing Benefit 

Usually you will not get Housing Benefit if: 

  • your savings are over £16,000 - unless you get Guarantee Credit of Pension Credit 

  • you are paying a mortgage on your own home - you may be able to get Support for Mortgage Interest (SMI) 

  • you live in the home of a close relative 

  • you are already claiming Universal Credit (unless you’re in temporary or supported housing) 

  • you live with your partner and they are already claiming Housing Benefit 

  • you are a full-time student - unless you are disabled 

  • you are residing in the UK as a European Economic Area jobseeker 

  • you are an asylum seeker or sponsored to be in the UK 

  • you are subject to immigration control and your granted leave states that you cannot claim public funds 

  • you are a Crown Tenant 

You may be able to get other help with housing costs

Changes to Housing Benefit eligibility from 15 May 2019 

From 15 May 2019, if you are in a couple you will only be eligible to start getting Housing Benefit if either: 

  • you and your partner have both reached State Pension age 

  • one of you has reached State Pension age and started claiming Housing Benefit or Pension Credit (for you as a couple) before 15 May 2019 

If you are not already getting Housing Benefit on 14 May 2019, you can backdate your claim. You could still be eligible to get Housing Benefit. 

You can ask for your claim to be backdated to 12 May or before. You will need to apply by 13 August 2019 to do this. 

You can apply for Universal Credit instead if you are still not eligible. 

If you already get Housing Benefit and you are in a couple 

You will continue to get Housing Benefit after 15 May 2019. If your entitlement stops for any reason, for example your circumstances change, you cannot start getting it again until you (or your partner) are eligible under the new rules. 

If you already get Housing Benefit and you are single 

From 15 May 2019, you will stop getting Housing Benefit if you start living with a partner who is under State Pension age. You can start getting it again when your partner reaches State Pension age. 

See also: 

For further information: