I rent from a housing association. Can I claim?
The information on this page explains how we calculate your Housing Benefit.
We look at how much rent you are being charged by the housing association or registered social landlord (for example, Ongo or Guinness Northern Counties). Then we subtract anything that is included, for example water rates or heating charges.
This gives us the maximum amount of Housing Benefit you can receive.
Your income also affects your Housing Benefit, so we then look at the following:
- Bank accounts
- Earned income or benefits
If you would like to claim Housing Benefit please do not wait, as you may lose benefit if you do.
To make a claim you can:
- Apply online for Housing Benefit or Council Tax Support
- Contact the Housing Benefit team on 0300 3030164
You only need to fill in one claim form to apply for both Council Tax Support and Housing Benefit at the same time.
Other factors that may affect your Housing Benefit entitlement:
Since April 2013, if you have spare bedrooms, the maximum amount of Housing Benefit you can get might not be the same as the amount of rent you are charged. This means you may get less Housing Benefit than you would have done before April 2013.
For more information about this change please see our ‘Bedroom Tax’ – frequently asked questions page.
Earned income is any income that you get from employment. We work out your income by looking at the money your earnings and then taking off your:
- National Insurance contributions
- half of any payments you make to a private pension
We will then take away a set amount depending on your circumstances. The table below shows you the set amounts that have applied since 5 April 2010.
Earned income deductions:
|Amount we take off weekly||Circumstances|
|£20||Any of the following apply:
|Maximum £175||You have at least one dependent child who is looked after by a registered childminder.|
|Maximum £300||You have more than one child and they are looked after by a registered childminder. The maximum of £300 applies if you have at least two dependent children who will be under the age of 16 before the first Monday in September.|
Unearned income includes things like:
- Child Benefit
- Tax Credits
- Pension Credits
- Private pensions
We ignore some benefits, for example:
- Disability Living Allowance
- War Disablement Pension;
- War Widow’s Pension;
- Maintenance payments you get for children
You should still tell us on your application about all benefits and maintenance payments you receive, and supply the relevant evidence.
If you have savings or investments* worth more than £16,000:
You will only qualify for Housing Benefit if you receive Pension Credit (Guaranteed Credit).
If you are aged 60 or over and have savings and investments* between £6,000 and £16,000:
The council will add £1 a week for every £500, or any part of that, to your assessed income.
If you are aged 60 or under and have savings and investments* of between £6,000 and £16,000:
The council will add £1 a week for every £250, or any part of that, to your assessed income.
*Savings and investments include all bank, building society and post office accounts as well as stocks, shares, income bonds or property.
We must take this into account. We will take off the first £20 of the weekly rent and then half the rest of the rent.
For example, if your lodger pays you £50 a week, we will first take off the first £20. This leaves £30. We will then halve this, leaving £15.
You will get the maximum Housing Benefit if you get:
- Income Support
- Jobseeker’s Allowance (income-based)
- Employment and Support Allowance (income-related)
If you get Guaranteed Credit:
You will get maximum Housing Benefit, with any non-dependent deductions taken away.
If you get Savings Credit only:
You will still be able to claim Housing Benefit, but the amount you will receive will depend on your income.
What is a non-dependant?
‘Non-dependant’ is a term used for any adult in the household, for example grown-up children, relatives, friends of the family and some lodgers.
The amount of Housing Benefit you get assumes that any non-dependants help you to pay the rent, so we will make a deduction based on their age, circumstances and income.
Universal Credit includes a housing element that should be used to pay your rent. If you are receiving Universal Credit you will not be entitled to Housing Benefit.