Housing Systems: Combating poverty and sustaining tenancies.
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How to Claim: Getting it Right

KEY FACTS:

 

  • 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.

  • If able to claim, the tenant should make the claim as soon as possible - any delay may mean they miss out on some HB. If the tenant has delayed making their claim they may be able to get it backdated.

  • Claims can be made directly to the HB Office - on a claim form, by registering their intention to claim over the phone, or by claiming on-line where the HB Office have this facility. (If someone has logged their intention to claim and the HB office haven't acted on it there is no time limit to complete the claim!)

  • In some situations it is important to know who should make the claim, and if there are any special rules that apply - ie joint tenantspeople living in 'hostels', couples.

  • Some tenants will make their claim for HB via the Job Centre or Pension Service. Sometimes this process breaks down and the claimant may have grounds for appeal if they would otherwise miss out on some HB.

  • For HB to be paid, your tenant must submit an 'effective' claim which means providing all the information and evidence reasonably requested within specific timescales.

  • Is a new claim really needed when a previous award has been terminated? Usually it is better to get the award reinstated to avoid loss of benefit and the impact of welfare reforms.

Via Jobcentre

If making a claim for IB-JSA, IR-ESA or IS then HB will usually be claimed via the Jobcentre.

On Pension Credit

If making a claim for Pension Credit then HB is will usually be claimed via the Pension Service.

Finishing Work?

Could they make a rapid reclaim?

Log claim over Phone

Useful if the claimant can't make a claim by any other means - and maximises entitlement.

Joint Tenants

Non-couple joint tenants each make a claim for their share of the rent.

Living in a Hostel?

Special rules apply to claimants living in a 'hostel' as defined by the HB Regulations

Couples

Extra things to think about when a couple make a claim for HB.

Couples on C-ESA

Better off scenarios exist depending on which member makes the claim.