- Someone can only receive an award of Housing Benefit if they make a claim for it.
- This does not have to be the tenant - it could be the tenant's partner, former partner, appointee or someone else who is treated as liable to pay the rent.
- Although couples make one claim - only one of them will be deemed the HB claimant - this can give rise to many issues - including better off scenarios for couples on Contributory Employment and Support Allowance.
- A new claim will be needed when the claimant does not currently have a 'live' claim with the Local Authority where they live - this can include a surviving member of a couple if their partner was the HB claimant prior to their death: click here.
- A claim is generally made directly to the Local Authority - usually in writing on the LA's claim form but some LAs have on-line claims. Sometimes the claim will be made via the Job Centre or Pension Service ie when claiming JSA, ESA, IS or Pension Credit.
- The default is for any HB to be awarded from the Monday after the date of claim - but there are exceptions and some claims can be backdated.
- If the claimant is worried that they are going to delay being able to make a claim and therefore miss out on some HB entitlement, they can 'log' the claim over the phone.
- Welfare reforms that affect people making a new claim for HB can mean a reduction in HB entitlement for some people - if they have been on HB and it has ended, it can be beneficial to argue that the HB award is continuous - ie get it reinstated - rather than ending and restarting.
Lots of things can go wrong when making a claim for HB meaning that the claimant misses out on HB that they are entitled to - click on the links below for more information to help minimise these problems.
NOTE: Many people are not able to make a new claim for Housing Benefit and need to make a claim for Universal Credit instead - click here for more details.
But some are wrongly told they have to claim UC when they don't need to! Click here.