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Housing Benefit can help you pay your rent if you are unemployed, on a low income or claiming benefits. It is being replaced by Universal Credit.

You can only make a new claim for Housing Benefit if:

  • you have reached State Pension age
    or
  • you are in supported, sheltered or temporary housing

You cannot claim Housing Benefit if:

  • you rent your home from a close relative who lives in the same house
  • you own the property you are claiming Housing Benefit for, or you have a mortgage on that property
  • you and your partner have joint savings or investments of more than £16000
  • you are subject to immigration control and your granted leave states that you cannot claim public funds
  • you are an asylum seeker or sponsored to be in the UK
  • you are getting or you are eligible to claim Universal Credit

Use a benefits calculator on GOV.UK to check if you can get Housing Benefit before you apply.

Apply for Housing Benefit

Before you apply, check if you can claim housing benefit on GOV.UK or if you need to claim Universal Credit instead.

You will need to provide evidence to support your Housing Benefit claim. This information can be found in the application form.

The form is best filled out on a laptop or computer. Free access to computers are available at your local library.

Once you have completed the form, send it to housingbenefit@southglos.gov.uk

If you wish to make a claim in person, hand in forms or documents for your claim, visit one of our One Stop Shops.

How Housing Benefit is paid

Housing association tenants

Benefit will be paid direct to your landlord every four weeks in arrears. If you asked for it to be paid directly to your bank account, it will be every two weeks in arrears.

We may ask you to provide proof that your rent is up to date depending on how long you have had the tenancy.

Private tenants

If you rent your property from a private landlord, Local Housing Allowance (LHA) rules apply for paying Housing Benefit.

Claim backdated benefit

If you are older than State Pension age

We can automatically backdate your claim by up to three months before the date when you made your claim if you would have been entitled during that time.

You must also provide proof of the income, savings and the rent you were being charged during the period when you were unable to claim.

If you are under the State Pension age

You will not be able to have your claim backdated unless you have reason as to why you were unable to claim from an earlier date. Depending on this, we could backdate your claim up to one month.

Housing benefit for students

Most full time students are not allowed to claim housing benefit. If you are a student and are not sure if you can claim, contact us using the details on this page.

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