Housing Benefit new claim

You may be able to claim Housing Benefit to help with paying your rent if you are on benefits, receive a pension or you are on a low income. 
Changes to benefits
Universal Credit is a new single monthly payment which merges together some of the benefits and tax credits that you might be getting now. The new benefit was introduced in Newham on 15 February.

Find out about Universal Credit

What is Housing Benefit?

Housing Benefit is a national benefit paid to people on low incomes who have to pay rent for the home they live in.
Housing Benefit is available to you if you are:
  • a council tenant or a housing association tenant
  • in a shared-ownership scheme (but only for the rental part of the agreement)
  • renting private accommodation
  • paying a rental charge for mooring your houseboat or for pitching your mobile home or caravan.
The best way to find out if you can get benefit is to make an online c​laim.

If you also pay Council Tax, you may also be able to get a Council Tax Reduction or Second Adult Rebate

Who can claim Housing Benefit?

You can claim Housing Benefit to help pay your rent whether or not you are:
  • receiving other benefits, tax credits, or pensions
  • working, unemployed or retired
  • unable to work due to illness or disability
  • caring for a child or adult.
But not everyone who makes a claim for benefit will get it.

You cannot get Housing Benefit if:
  • you are of working age and claim Universal Credit - this is because your Universal Credit will include an allowance towards your rent; or
  • you have more than £16,000 in savings, stocks and shares or other capital unless you also receive Pension Credit Guarantee Credit.
The best way to find out if you can get benefit is to make an online claim.

Making a claim for Housing Benefit

To claim Housing Benefit you must fill in our Housing Benefit application form.
Read the Direction of the Chief Excutive for further information about making a claim electronically.

If you pay Council Tax you can claim for Council Tax Reduction on the same form. You can still claim Council Tax Reduction if you already claim Universal Credit.

Filling in the paper application form

You must follow the instructions on the form, tick the relevant boxes, and make sure you fully fill it in. 

The form looks long, but we need to ask a lot of questions to make sure everyone gets the right amount of benefit.
If someone else fills in the form for you, they must sign it in the space provided.
If you need help filling in the form, we can arrange for someone to visit you.To make an appointment phone us on 020 8430 2000.

Send your completed form to:

Newham Benefits Service
PO Box 23504
E15 4UU


Claiming Housing Benefit with other benefits

You can make a claim for Housing Benefit at the same time as you make your claim at the Jobcentre Plus or the Pension Service for any of these benefits:
  • Income Support
  • Jobseeker's Allowance
  • Employment and Support Allowance
  • Pension Credit.

However if you claim Universal Credit, you cannot claim Housing Benefit. This is because Universal Credit includes an allowance towards your rent.


Proof of identity and evidence

You can provide evidence to supp​ort your claim online or by post.

When you complete the online evidence form you can upload scanned documents or digital photos to support your claim for housing benefit and/or council tax reduction. Digital photos can be taken on a smart phone or tablet.

Your uploaded files need to be clearly readable. If we cannot read your documents it will take longer to process your claim.

You may upload files in any of the following formats: JPEG, JPG, JPE, GIF, PDF, PNG.


How much Housing Benefit could I get?

The amount of benefit you will receive depends on:
  • your personal circumstances and those who live with you
  • your income and benefits
  • any other money, savings or investments you have
  • the income and savings of other people who live in your home
  • how much rent you pay.
Housing Benefit does not cover certain service charges, such as charges for fuel and water. The best way to find out if you can get benefit is to make a claim.
The calculator will only estimate what you could be entitled to. The best way to find out how much you will get is to make a claim.

    Receiving your Housing Benefit

    Council tenants

    We will pay your Housing Benefit weekly into your rent account so you will not have to pay the full rent. You will be told how much your Housing Benefit is, and how much your rent payments will be.

    Housing association and private tenants

    Your benefit will be paid straight into your bank or building society account, in arrears, every two weeks. We cannot pay Housing Benefit into Post Office accounts.

    Paying your benefit directly to your landlord

    We will pay your Housing Benefit directly to your landlord if you:
    • have rent arrears of eight weeks or more
    • move out still owing rent and we owe you some Housing Benefit
    • are having deductions for rent arrears taken from your Income Support, Jobseeker's Allowance, Employment and Support Allowance or Pension Credit
    • are a vulnerable person and you cannot take responsibility for paying your Housing Benefit
    • your claim is calculated under Local Housing Allowance rules and you can show us that you will have difficulty taking responsibility for paying the rent yourself.
    If you think any of the above rules apply to you, you can tell us about it when you claim or you can fill in our Paying your landlord form (PDF)

    How we pay your landlord

    We usually pay Housing Benefit to landlords directly into their bank accounts, every four weeks or monthly in arrears.

    First payment

    If there has been a delay in dealing with your claim and your first Housing Benefit payment is for a large amount, we will usually pay your first payment directly to your landlord’s bank account.

    Not getting enough Housing Benefit?

    If you do not agree with our decision, for example if you think you are entitled to benefit and we have said you are not, or if you think you should get more benefit because we have made a mistake, you can get an explanation or dispute the decision.
    If you think we have calculated your benefit correctly, but you need more help with your housing costs you can apply for a Discretionary Housing Payment.
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    Housing Benefit on two homes

    You can ask for Housing Benefit to be paid on two addresses at the same time, for a period of up to four weeks.
    We can pay you this overlapping benefit if you have actually moved into your new home and we accept that you could not have reasonably avoided having to pay two rents for the same period.
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