How to apply for housing benefits? Benefits

If you are looking for information on how to apply for housing benefits, here is some information to get you started.

It is important to note that the Housing Benefit offered by the government is being replaced by Universal Credit. Therefore, if you are making a new claim for housing benefit, this will have to be in the form of a Universal Credit claim.

What are housing benefits?

Housing benefits, as part of Universal Credit, are now called ‘housing payments’. These can be used to pay your rent to a private landlord, pay your rent and some service charges if you rent from a housing association or local authority, or pay your mortgage if you own your property.

Am I eligible for housing benefits?

Housing benefit claims now come as part of Universal Credit payments. You may be able to claim for UC if:

  • You’re on a low income
  • You’re out of work
  • You’re over 18
  • You’re under the State Pension age
  • You have savings of less than £16,000
  • You live in the UK

Alongside this, there are other circumstances in which you may be eligible for UC. These include if you’re 18 or over and in training or studying full time, you’re 16 or 17, you are in a couple.

Eligibility for Universal Credit is based on a number of factors and circumstances. Before you make an application, it is important to understand the eligibility criteria and how you fit into it.

How do I apply for housing benefit?

Here is a quick step-by-step guide to making a UC claim:

  1. First, check your eligibility.
  2. If you believe that you are eligible to make a claim, you should set up an online account. Before you do this, you should ensure you have all the relevant information and documents to hand. These include your bank account details, an email address, housing information, savings details, and childcare costs. You will also need to verify your identity. This can be done with a driving licence, passport, or debit or credit card.
  3. Once you have made your claim, you will be informed of an interview you must attend with Jobcentre Plus.
  4. Following this, when your claim has been processed you’ll get your first payment. This usually happens around 5 weeks after you make your claim.

Do you need financial advice or welfare support?

If you are based in Stafford or South Staffordshire and need financial advice or welfare support, we can help! At Building Better Opportunities, we can help you to understand the benefits you are eligible for and make a claim to Universal Credit. Our friendly Advocates will also be able to support you with budgeting and managing your money if you need it.

To access help from Building Better Opportunities, please contact us. We attend a range of Drop-In sessions across the region, of which you can come along to without booking an appointment. Alternatively, just give us a call and we will advise you.