Who Can Get Housing Benefit?

Housing Benefit can help you pay your rent on the property you live in if you’re unemployed, on a low income or claiming benefits. To qualify, you must have savings of less than £16,000 unless you receive the Guarantee Credit element of Pension Credit. How much you are entitled to will depend on your own circumstances.

For most working age people, Housing Benefit is no longer available to claim because it is being replaced by Universal Credit. You can still claim Housing Benefit if you meet any of the following exemptions:

  • you are entitled to the Severe Disability Premium within your current income-related Employment and Support Allowance, income-based Job Seekers Allowance or Income Support award
  • you are entitled to the Severe Disability Premium within your current Housing Benefit award and you are moving to a new Local Authority area
  • you live in temporary accommodation
  • you live in supported accommodation
  • you are single and have reached State Pension age
  • you are part of a couple and both you and your partner have reached State Pension age

To find out more about Universal Credit, visit our Universal Credit page.

Single Pension age people, and Pension age people that are part of a couple where both members of the partnership are Pension age, are not affected by Universal Credit, so a claim for Housing Benefit can be made.

If you rent your home from a private landlord, and you are eligible for Housing Benefit, the amount you can receive is based on Local Housing Allowance where you live.

Housing Benefit should cover any service charges that must be paid for living at the property, such as maintaining a communal area. It does not cover costs such as heating, water, gas or electricity.

UK or Irish Republic nationals can claim Housing Benefit. 

Housing Benefit does not help towards housing costs if you own your home and pay a mortgage. Help is available through the Department for Work and Pension Support for Mortgage Interest Scheme.