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.

Who can make a claim

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

  • you have reached State Pension age
  • 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.

How to apply

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

To apply for Housing Benefit you need a South Gloucestershire Council account.

You will need to provide evidence to support your Housing Benefit claim.

If you are unable to complete the form through your online account, you can also download and complete a PDF version of the form. You can return this to one of our One Stop Shops or by email to housingbenefit@southglos.gov.uk.

You can also hand in documents to support your claim to a One Stop Shop.

Where possible provide original documents. We may ask for further evidence if it is required.

Privacy notice

Find out how we collect, use and share your data in our privacy notice for housing benefit, discretionary housing payments and local council tax reduction.

Sometimes we need information about other people who live in the same household as you so we can work out how much you will be eligible for.

How Housing Benefit is paid

Housing association tenants

Benefit will be paid direct to your landlord every 4 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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