How to apply for housing benefit

Housing benefit is just like all other forms of social benefit in that the government make it hard to understand because they don’t want the world and his wife banging on their door for cash. That makes sense but if you’re in need of a helping hand with your rent, read on and we’ll tell you how to apply for housing benefit.
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Housing benefit explained

Those on a low income can get benefits to help them pay their rent. The benefit can pay part of the rent or all of it. The amount depends on your personal circumstances and the amount of income you earn. You don’t need to be unemployed to apply for this benefit which means it’s not one of those benefits that encourages people to stay away from work.


How beneficial the payment is to you depends on many factors including your “eligible rent”, whether you have a spare room or not and your household income (including any benefits, savings over £6,000 and pensions). If someone in the household has a disability and the age of the occupants also plays a part in the amount of pay out you can expect to receive from the government.

How you’re paid

This depends on whether you’re a council tenant or renting privately. If you’re renting through the council, you won’t get your hands on the cash as it’s paid directly into your rent account. For private tenants things are different. Private tenants get the funds paid into their bank or building society. Cheque payments do still happen but they’re pretty rare nowadays.

Final word

Housing Benefit can’t pay for heating, hot water, energy or food. If you need help with those things, head to gov.uk and use the benefits calculator.

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