Housing Systems: Combating poverty and sustaining tenancies.
Search
How to claim
KEY FACTS:

  • 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 delay being able to make a claim and therefore miss out on some HB entitlement, they can 'log' the claim over the phone.

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.

Is a new claim needed?

New claim or change of address?

Getting It Right

How to claim HB - on a passport benefit - joint tenants - couples - special rules for hostels. 

Providing Evidence

What's needed from the tenant & when and what can the HB Office get from elsewhere?

Nil Income

When a 'nil income' claim is needed, and what to do to ensure payment.

Need Backdating?

When a backdate can be requested, how far. What are the alternatives?

Defective Claim

Why the HB oOffice may decide a claim isn't valid, and what can be done.

Mental Capacity

How does someone without mental capacity claim?

What Info can a landlord get?

What info can a landlord get about a tenant's claim for HB?