How your benefits are paid

Under Government rules, the money usually goes straight into your bank or building society account via BACS. Here is advice on accounts from the Money Advice Service and if you need help to open one, please contact us.

Exceptions to these rules are listed below.

If you are unable to open an account, we can give you a cheque for the money. We accept no responsibility for any delays when cashing cheques, which can take several days. We will never exchange such cheques for cash so you will be responsible for cashing them.

After the first payment, payments are normally made every two or four weeks. Payments are always in arrears.

Landlords will need to speak to you to arrange rent payments, such as via standing order.

When Housing Benefit can be paid to other people

Housing Benefit may be paid every four weeks to your landlord, your landlord’s agent or someone who looks after your money or who has power of attorney over your affairs if:

  1. We think you are unable to handle your own affairs
  2. We think you are unlikely to pay your rent
  3. You are more than eight weeks in arrears.

Some specific types of Housing Benefit claim are also exempt from the rules, which means the money can be paid to your landlord or your landlord’s agent. These include:

  1. Claims made before 7th April 2008
  2. Claims by tenants of Registered Social Landlords or Registered Housing Associations
  3. Claims on tenancies which started before 15 January 1989
  4. Claims on supported housing where the landlord is a registered social landlord, charity, or not-for-profit voluntary organisation that provides the tenant with care, support, or supervision
  5. Claims for hostel dwellers
  6. Claims for tenancies where we decide that a substantial part of the rent is for board and attendance.

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