Housing Benefit

Find out if you qualify for Housing Benefit, make a new claim, payments and overpayments

Housing Benefit is a benefit to help some people pay their rent.

How much you get depends on your household income, circumstances and housing arrangements.

However, most people of working age now claim for help with their housing costs as part of a claim for Universal Credit. For more details, see our Universal Credit page.

Some people may be entitled to Housing Benefit instead. This includes people who:

  • are of state pension age
  • live in supported, sheltered or temporary housing

Visit the government’s Housing Benefit page for more informant on eligibility, supporting documents and payments.

If you are on a low income you may be able to claim Housing Benefit and/or Council Tax Support to help pay your rent and Council Tax bill.

Apply for Housing Benefit

You should apply straightaway if you think you are eligible for Housing Benefit as it is not always possible to backdate payments.

You should also let us know immediately if your circumstances change as any overpayment must be paid back to the Council.

Please use our benefits calculator to see which benefits you may be entitled to before applying for Housing Benefit. The online calculator covers all benefits, including Universal Credit.

Housing Benefit is a means-tested benefit. This means that your income and savings are taken into consideration when applying.

Apply for Housing Benefit

Housing Benefit payments

Housing Benefit is normally awarded from the Monday following the date you first contact us. It may be possible in certain circumstances to award benefit from an earlier date. This is called ‘backdating’. You can apply for backdated benefit either by:

Within your request for backdated benefit, you must provide details of why you did not apply earlier.

Non-dependant deductions

If you have any other adults living with you (over the age of 18) such as grown up children, we may have to reduce the Housing Benefit we can pay you.

The amount we deduct will depend on the non-dependant's circumstances, for example, whether they are working, the number of hours they work and how much they earn.

Non-dependant deductions 2023/24

The table below shows the weekly deductions from Housing Benefit from 1 April 2023.

Weekly gross income of non-dependant Weekly amount

Aged under 25 and on Income Support or income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance or income-related Employment and Support Allowance which does not include an amount for the support component or work-related activity component or Universal Credit where the award is calculated on the basis that the non-dependant does not have any earned income


Aged 25 or over and on Income Support or income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, or aged 18 or over and not in remunerative work


In receipt of main phase income-related Employment and Support Allowance (any age)


In receipt of Pension Credit


Aged over 18 or over and in remunerative work:


  • gross income: less than £162


  • gross income: £162 to £235.99


  • gross income: £236 to £307.99


  • gross income: £308 to £409.99


  • gross income: £410 to £510.99 


  • gross income: £511 and above 


Housing Benefit overpayments

Housing Benefit overpayments happen when we have paid you (or someone else on your behalf) benefit which you are not entitled to. This might be because:

When we ask you to pay back an overpayment, we will:

  • send you an invoice and ask you to repay the amount
  • take weekly deductions from your Housing Benefit payments, which will vary depending on your circumstances 

Housing Benefit appeals

If you disagree with our decision about your entitlement to Housing Benefit, you must write or email to us within one month of the date of your benefit decision letter. You must tell us:

  • which decision(s) you are disputing
  • the grounds for your request - why you think it is wrong
  • any supporting evidence that you feel is relevant
  • the date of your appeal

We will write to you to confirm the outcome of your appeal.