What is Housing Benefit?
If you rent from a housing association, benefit award will be based upon your rent charge. If your rent includes a charge for additional services such as meals or support, these will not be included in the calculation of Housing Benefit entitlement.
Please note: If you rent from a housing association your benefit may be affected by Housing Benefit changes from April 2013.
If you rent from a private landlord, benefit will be calculated according to your housing needs. This varies, depending upon:
- The number, age and gender of any dependant children living with you.
- The number of other people living with you (excluding your partner)
- The area in which you live.
The calculation of your housing needs in this way is known as Local Housing Allowance, more information on this can be found on our Local Housing Allowance page.
Payments of Housing Benefit are usually made direct into the claimant's bank account via BACS on a four-weekly basis at the end of that period. In some circumstances an alternative payee can be specified.
In the event of a partial award you will need to make arrangements with your landlord to ensure any rent shortfall is paid. The Discretionary Housing Payment scheme could help with your rent shortfall, although funding is limited and there will be some cases where we are unable to help.