How to claim Housing Benefit
Please note: Universal Credit has gone live in Sandwell from 14 November 2018. Our webpages will shortly be updated to confirm the changes and how they will affect you.
Anyone who pays rent to the council, a private landlord or a housing association can make a claim for Housing Benefit to help with their rent payments. Entitlement is based on the amount of rent charged and rooms needed, your personal income and circumstances and the circumstances of anyone living in your household.
You cannot claim Housing Benefit if:
- you own the property that you live in
- you pay rent to a close relative who lives in the same household
- you and your partner have more than £16,000 in savings or capital, unless you are receiving guaranteed pension credit.
How do I claim?
To claim Housing Benefit you can simply fill in our online claim form. The form will give you an idea of how much Housing Benefit you may get and allow you to continue to make your claim. Any information that you need to provide in support of your claim will be shown near the end of the form. Our evidence page shows the kind of documents that we can accept as evidence.
If you are a private tenant renting a property or room from a private landlord the amount of rent we can use to work out your benefit is set by the Local Housing Allowance scheme.
If you are receiving Universal Credit your housing costs will be included in your Universal Credit payments unless you live in special accomodation. If you are a newly unemployed single person of working age you will need to apply for Universal Credit rather than Housing Benefit. You can still use our online application form to claim Council Tax Reduction as this is not included in your Universal Credit payment.
When should I claim?
It is important that you claim as soon as you can as the start date of your claim will be the Monday following the week in which you make the claim. In certain circumstances, it may be possible to award benefit from an earlier date, more information is available on our backdating your benefit page.
Please do not delay filling in the form if you do not have all the information that we need, as this will affect the start date of any benefit you may get. However, if you are able to provide all of the information with your claim then we will be able to sort out your claim much more quickly and we will not have to contact you for more information.
If you require any further information on how to claim please contact us.
If you want to know when and how you will get your Housing Benefit payments please visit our payment page.
Please be aware that we can only discuss a benefit claim with the person claiming the benefit. If you want someone else to be able to contact us on your behalf please fill in our Third Party Authorisation form.