How to claim Housing Benefit

Anyone who pays rent to the council, a private landlord or a housing association can make a claim for help with their rent payments. Most people should do this as part of a claim for Universal Credit.

Universal Credit is the new benefit which can include an amount to cover your rent.

Some people cannot claim Universal Credit. If you are in one of the groups below and need help with your rent you can apply for Housing Benefit:

  • You are of pensionable age
  • You live in special exempt or temporary accommodation (as defined by Sandwell Council)

How do I claim Housing Benefit?

To claim Housing Benefit you can simply fill in our online claim form. 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 think you may be entitled to apply for Housing Benefit, you can check to see if you qualify by using the Benefits calculator before making a claim.

Apply for Housing Benefit

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.

The current Local Housing Allowance rates for Sandwell are shown below. The figures shown are the maximum amount payable and the actual Housing Benefit entitlement may be lower than the figure below. (All figures are weekly amounts):

Property size Black Country Area Birmingham Area
Shared property/Under 35's £60.18 £67.00
1 Bedroom £91.82 £120.82
2 Bedroom £117.37 £143.84
3 Bedroom £136.93 £155.34
4 Bedroom £172.60 £195.62

April 2024:

Property size Black Country Area Birmingham Area
Shared property/Under 35's £73.64 £78.61
1 Bedroom £113.92 £159.95
2 Bedroom £143.84 £172.60
3 Bedroom £172.60 £189.86
4 Bedroom £212.88 £253.15

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.

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.

Need help?

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.

What happens next?

Housing Benefit & Council Tax Reduction new claims are normally processed within 20 working days upon the receipt of all the information, this may vary depending upon the type of accommodation you reside in.