Housing Benefit

Housing Benefit eligibility

If you or your partner is of working age and you are seeking assistance with your rent, please first check if you should apply for Universal Credit.

If you do not meet the criteria for Universal Credit, you can apply for Housing Benefit for help with your rent, if:

  • you pay rent
  • you're on a low income or claiming other benefits
  • your savings are below £16,000 (this does not apply if you are in receipt of Pension Credit Guarantee Credit)

You can apply if you're employed or unemployed, but if you live with a partner, you will need to make a claim together.

Who is not eligible

Usually you will not get Housing Benefit if:

  • you meet the criteria to apply for Universal Credit for help with your rent
  • your savings are over £16,000 - unless you get the guarantee credit element of Pension Credit
  • you pay to rent and live in the home of a close relative
  • you're a full-time student - unless you're an eligible student
  • you're residing in the UK as an European Economic Area jobseeker
  • you're an asylum seeker or sponsored to be in the UK
  • you're subject to immigration control and your granted leave states that you cannot claim public funds

You usually cannot get Housing Benefit and the housing element of Universal Credit at the same time. 

Do not forget you may need to also claim for help to pay your Council Tax.

Page last updated: 19 October 2018
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