Housing Benefit helps people on low income pay their rent. You can claim Housing Benefit if you are working but your earnings are low or if you are receiving state benefits.
Housing Benefit is a means tested benefit – your income is measured against your needs and your rent costs. Housing Benefit can only help people who pay rent – we cannot help people who have mortgages. Sometimes the Department for Work and Pensions can help with mortgage interest if you are claiming a means tested benefit.
The Housing Benefit scheme operates in three different ways:
This provides help for those renting Council properties. If you are entitled to any Housing Benefit, it is credited directly to your rent account and you will then pay less rent.
This provides help for those renting from Housing Associations and some who rent from private landlords. For those renting from private landlords it applies to people who have lived in the same property since before 1989 and those who have been claiming Housing Benefit at the same address since 6 April 2008. Entitlement under this scheme is paid either into the customer’s bank account to help them pay their rent or directly to the landlord’s bank account – the choice is with the tenant.
This was a new scheme introduced in April 2008 for tenants who rent from a private landlord. It affects those people moving to a new address or making a new claim after 7 April 2008. Entitlement under this scheme is calculated on the Local Housing Allowance rates and any benefit is normally paid into the customer’s bank account to help them pay their rent. It can be paid directly to the landlord in exceptional circumstances.
As every case is slightly different, we suggest you use the ‘Benefits Adviser’ calculator to find out if you are entitled.
* Remember, you do not fall under the LHA scheme if your landlord is Lewes District Council, any Housing Association or if you have been continuously claiming at your present address since before 7 April 2008.
If you think you might be entitled to Housing Benefit, then you can make a claim by completing an application form. All the relevant forms are available on our forms page.
Our staff will be happy to answer your questions. When contacting us, please have your reference number ready to hand. We require this to answer your enquiry quickly.