If you are on a low income you could get help with your Housing Costs through either Universal Credit Housing Element or Housing Benefit.

  • How much you get depends on your income and circumstances.
  • You can apply whether you are unemployed or working.
  • You are responsible for claiming any benefits to help you pay your rent.

Who can claim help to pay your rent if:

  • You are on a low income and;
  • You have a liability to pay rent and;
  • Your capital is under £16,000 – Unless you are on Pension Credit
  • You have the right to reside and are not subject to immigration control

You would claim Housing Benefit if

  • You are of qualifying age for Pension Credit or
  • If you live in supported or temporary accommodation
  • If you are on a middle rate care of DLA or Daily Living component of PIP and you get an income replacement benefit.

You should claim Universal Credit Housing Element if

  • You are of working age.
  • You are liable to pay rent
  • You are on a low income

Call the Money Advice Team for a Better off Calculation on 0330 100 0272

Currently, your local council is responsible for paying Housing Benefit to residents who qualify, so you will need to speak to them directly to apply. Their Housing Benefit Advisors can assist you if you have difficulty completing the application form.

To claim Housing Element of Universal Credit you should contact the Department for Works and Pensions.

Please keep us informed, particularly if you are in dispute with the council about the level of your benefit or your right to it.

If you have provided all the relevant documents for you benefit claim and are awaiting your claim to be assessed please provide us with a copy of the receipt issued.  This will then assist us in making decisions in cases of rent arrears accruing.

Your responsibilities

  • Make sure you understand your claim and keep it up to date.
  • Respond to any letters or requests you get from the benefit providers (we cannot do this on your behalf).
  • Inform your local Housing Benefit department or Universal Credit of of any rent increases.
  • If your benefit is cut, it is your responsibility to cover the shortfall.
  • Please be aware that you are in danger of losing your home if your account is consistently in arrears – get more information on this page.
  • Please speak to our Money Advice Team if you require any support or would like advice on other benefits you might be entitled to.