Already getting Housing Benefit?
Someone who is currently in receipt of Housing Benefit should report the change in their circumstances to the HB Office who will re-assess their entitlement
But they may now be better off if they claim Universal Credit if eligible – they should seek advice from a Benefits Adviser who will be able to conduct a better off calculation.
NOTE: Where a mixed age couple (one working age, one state pension age) have been getting HB under the HB state pension age Regulations since before 16th May 2019 then they will be able to stay on HB and make a new claim for Pension Credit.
If they are not already receiving Council Tax Support they should let their Local Authority know that they would like to receive it.
If they are going to stay on HB, and their total 'welfare' is higher than their Benefit Cap limit, then make sure the Benefit Cap is not applied straight away if they are entitled to the 'grace period'.
The grace period applies where the claimant or their partner has been in paid work for 50 out of the previous 52 weeks.
In these cases the Benefit Cap should not be applied until after the 9 month grace period. (Note that some claimants are exempt from the Benefit Cap anyway, due to receiving certain other benefits).
Not currently getting any means-tested benefits?
They will not be able to make a new claim for Housing Benefit unless they are fall into one of the special groups who can - click here. As long as they meet the general eligibility criteria for UC then they can make a claim for it - click here.