Housing Benefit Contacts
|Housing Benefit||Phone Number|
|Head Office||0843 658 6837|
|Claimant Helpline||0843 658 6837|
|Complaints||0843 658 6837|
Housing Benefit Helpline Opening Hours
|Head Office||8:30am-11:30pm, 7 days a week|
Housing benefit Head Office Address
|Head Office||Westminster Benefit Services
PO Box 82
What is Housing Benefit?
Housing Benefit was first introduced as in the control of the local authorities in 1982 and is a benefit that is designed for social security and aims to help those living in rented accommodation with their finances. After state pension, Housing Benefit comes as the second biggest item in the Department for Work and Pension’s budget (in 2013-14 it totalled a huge £2.8 billion). It is the norm for Housing Benefit to be administered by local authorities (councils) to the tenants in their specific area of the country. Tenants living in council housing will be given Housing Benefit in the form of a rebate which will then be paid straight to their landlord. If you are living as a private tenant then your benefit will be paid straight to you and it is down to you to pay your rent. In some unusual cases, benefit will be paid straight to the landlord. A person’s right to claim Housing Benefit can be affected by their immigration status. If you are on a low income and are struggling to pay the costs of your housing then you might be entitled to claim Housing Benefit, please call the Housing Benefit Helpline for more information.
Reasons to call the Housing Benefit Helpline
- I would like to apply for Housing Benefit
- I want to know if I am eligible for Housing Benefit
- I want to make a complaint to Housing Benefit
- I want further information about Housing Benefit
- My Housing Benefit has stopped and I am not sure why
- My circumstances have changed and I need to alert the DWP
- You have been overpaid your Housing Benefit
- You need to locate your nearest Job Centre Plus
- Your Housing Benefit has been paid directly to your landlord when it shouldn’t have been
Housing Benefit Form
Claiming for Housing Benefit is straightforward once you know how and if you think that you are eligible then do not hesitate to put in a claim. You can only get Housing Benefit if you are in receipt of other benefits and you must contact the Job Centre Plus and attach your claim for Housing Benefit along with your claim for any of the following; Job Seeker’s Allowance, Income Support and ESA (Employment and Support Allowance). You will have to fill out a form that is available at your local Job Centre. With the old style of Housing Benefit, your rent will be paid automatically for you, but with the movement into Universal Credit already taking place, many people now find themselves paying their landlord themselves out of their Universal Credit payment. If you are not claiming any other benefits, it is still possible to receive Housing Benefit but you will need to apply for it through your local council rather than at the Job Centre. Please call the helpline if you are having trouble with this. If you have only just realised that you are eligible for Housing Benefit you might be able to back date your claim if you have been eligible for a while. You are not always granted back payments but please call the helpline if you would like to do so – it is worth a try.
Housing Benefit Calculator
Benefit Calculators are available on the Government website and they can be used to independently find out whether or not you are eligible to receive benefits, what benefits you can get if so. They also give information about the types of benefits you can claim and how to claim them. You will be told from the start how the benefits that you are looking to claim will be affected when you start work. To get an accurate reading from the calculator, you will need information about; your savings, income to your household (including your partner’s), existing benefits and pensions, examples of your outgoings and your council tax bill. You cannot use a benefit calculator if you are under the age of 18.
Housing Benefit Entitlement
You will be entitled to Housing Benefit if you pay rent and are on a low income or are already claiming benefits. You must also have no savings or if you do, they must be less than a certain level (£16, 000). housing benefit is available to the employed and the unemployed but if there is more than one claimant (usually a partner or spouse) living in the same house, only one person can claim. If you are single and under 35 you are entitled to Housing Benefit for bedsit accommodation only. Anyone living in the home a close relative, a full-time student (unless you have children or are disabled), you are an asylum seeker or you are subjected to immigration control. If you are unsure whether or not you might be eligible to claim Housing Benefit then please call the helpline where someone can assess your situation. Alternatively, visit your local Job Centre Plus.
Housing Benefit Rates
If you are entitled, you will get help with all or part of your rent depending on your income. There is no defined amount of Housing Benefit and it also depends on whether you rent your house with a private landlord or it is rented out to you by the council.
Council and Social Housing
How much you are entitled to depends on how much rent you are charged, whether or not you have a spare room and your household income. Circumstances do also affect your claim, for example you would be entitled to more if you had children living in the house. If you live in a council house with a spare bedroom, your housing benefit could also be reduced. There are certain rules and expectations when it comes to sharing bedrooms in your home. An adult couple are expected to share, two children aged between two and 16 of the same sex and 2 children under 10 whether they are the same or different sex. If you want to receive the full amount of housing benefit then one spare bedroom is only allowed for an approved foster carer between placements. If you are a student or a member of the armed forces and plan to return to your home address once you have been away then your room will not be classed as spare and will not affect your housing benefit.
Housing Benefit works slightly differently for those that rent their houses privately and is known as Local Housing Allowance your circumstances, your income and the area in which you live do still affect how much you get as does the size of your house. You may find that you are affected by the benefit cap which limits what people aged 26-64 get in terms of financial support. If this does change your payments, please call the helpline.
Housing Benefit Change of Address
You must alert the DWP to a change in your address straight away to ensure that you can continue to receive your Housing Benefit, if you are still eligible.