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Who can claim housing benefit

Housing benefit can help pay your rent if you are on a low income, unemployed or unable to work because of illness.

Housing benefit is being replaced by Universal Credit (UC). You can only make a new claim for housing benefit if any of the following applies.

  • You have reached state pension age
  • You are getting or have been entitled to a severe disability premium
  • You are living in supported, temporary or sheltered housing

If you meet any of the above criteria and any of the following applies to your circumstances you may be eligible to claim housing benefit.

  • You pay rent to a private landlord
  • You pay rent to a Housing association
  • You and your partner have less than £16,000 in savings in total between you.
  • You are a boarder whose rent includes meals
  • You live in a mobile home or houseboat and pay ground rent or mooring fees
  • You pay a mortgage and rent for your home under a shared ownership arrangement. Housing benefit will only be calculated in respect of the rent you pay
  • If you are a joint tenant with one or more others we can help pay your share of the rent.

Mixed Age Couples

You are considered to be a mixed age couple if one partner in the couple is above qualifying age for pension credit and the other is below qualifying age.

From 15th May 2019 couples can only claim pension aged income-related benefits once both members of the couple have reached pension credit qualifying age. They will no longer have the option to choose if they claim working age benefits or pension age benefits.

If you are part of a couple and made a joint claim for pension credit before 15th May 2019 you can both still receive housing benefit even if your partner has not reached pension age.

If your circumstances change and your housing benefit is stopped you will no longer be able to make a new application for housing benefit and will need to apply for UC.

You and your partner would need to claim UC until you both reach state pension age and no longer considered a mixed age couple.

You cannot make a claim for Housing Benefit if:

  1. You are eligible for Universal Credit.
  2. You are not responsible for paying the rent. In certain specific circumstances you can be treated as the person who is responsible for paying the rent even if your name is not on the Tenancy Agreement – contact us to discuss
  3. Either you, your partner, or both of you together have more than £16,000 in savings unless you get Pension Credit Guarantee Credit
  4. You pay rent to a close relative who lives in the same property as you
  5. You live in a care home such as a nursing home or elderly person's home
  6. You rent from your ex-partner and you both used to live there
  7. You are the parent or guardian of your landlord's child
  8. You live in the home as part of your job
  9. You are an asylum seeker, unless you've been given refugee status or indefinite or exceptional leave (also called discretionary or humanitarian leave) to remain in the United Kingdom
  10. You have been admitted to the United Kingdom on the condition that you have no recourse to public funds. Housing benefit is a public fund, so you may not claim it if this condition was applied to you
  11. You are a sponsored immigrant and have lived here for less than five years
  12. You have spent four weeks outside of the UK.
  13. You are in the United Kingdom illegally or your permission to stay has run out.

You may not be able to make a claim for Housing Benefit if:

  1. You used to live with your landlord as a family member, relative, or friend and now pay that person rent
  2. You live in a property run by a religious order and you are a member of that religious order
  3. You rent from a trust and you are also a trustee or beneficiary
  4. You rent the property from a company and you are a director or employee of the company
  5. You used to own the property which you now rent
  6. You are a student (most full-time students don't qualify, but some do)
  7. You are temporarily living away from your usual home.
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