- Most working age people cannot make new claims for Housing Benefit - they have to claim 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.
- A person 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 (the one that goes on the claim as 'you').
- 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 Pension Service ie when claiming 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.
- If a working age claimant has 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 having to claim UC (or starting a new claim where this is possible).
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.