Housing benefit information

Housing Benefit helps you pay your rent if you are on a low income.

You can apply if you’re working or unemployed, unless you get Universal Credit. If you get Universal Credit your housing costs are included in that.

To apply for Housing Benefit you need use My Account.

Our normal processing time is two to five weeks depending on the claim and information provided. However, due to Covid 19 and a change in our workflow systems, applications are taking longer to process than expected. Our average processing time at the moment is between eight to ten weeks. 

Applications are done in strict date order. If you have received an eviction notice, notice seeking possession or any court proceedings because of rent and/or council tax arrears, please only then contact us on 020 8937 1800

Calculate your benefit entitlement

A benefit calculator is now available to help you determine whether you may be entitled to Housing Benefit and/or Council Tax Support and the potential amount.

If you find that you may be entitled, you will be able to access the benefit claim form directly from the ‘Results’ page of the calculator.

The calculator will also permit you to assess the impact of increasing your working hours and/or pay on your entitlement.

Calculate your benefit entitlement now

Can I claim housing benefit?

You can claim housing benefit if:

  • You are responsible to pay the rent
  • The property is your main home.

You cannot claim housing benefit if: 

  • You are not responsible to pay the rent, or if you own your own home 
  • You have more than £16,000 in capital, savings and investments unless you or your partner receives a Pension Credit
  • Your immigration status in the UK excludes you from receiving public funds 
  • Your landlord is a close relative and they are also residing in the property
  • You do not rent the property on a commercial basis 
  • You are a full time student, unless you also fall within one of the following categories below: 
  • Couples or lone parents who are responsible for a child or young person 
  • You are disabled and those who have been awarded a disabled student's allowance due to deafness 
  • You are under 21 years old and the course of study is not higher education (you must have started the course or were enrolled or accepted on it, before the age of 19) 
  • Aged 60 or over 
  • Receiving Income Support or Job Seekers Allowance (income based)

Since April 2014, new European Economic Area (EEA) jobseekers are no longer able to access housing benefit if they are claiming income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA). These housing benefit changes do not affect UK and Irish Republic nationals, or EEA migrants genuinely self-employed or in a job.

EEA nationals, who have been working in the UK and are subsequently made redundant and claim JSA, are not affected by this measure.