Eligibility

Housing Benefit can help you pay your rent if you’re unemployed, on a low income or claiming benefits. It’s being replaced by Universal Credit.

You can make a new claim for Housing Benefit if any of the following apply:

  • you’re getting the severe disability premium, or are entitled to it
  • you got or were entitled to the severe disability premium within the last month and are still eligible for it
  • you have reached State Pension age
  • you’re in supported, sheltered or temporary housing

You’ve reached State Pension age

If you’re single you can make a new claim for Housing Benefit.

If you’re over State Pension age and live with your partner

You can make a new claim for Housing Benefit if any of the following apply:

  • you and your partner have both reached State Pension age
  • one of you has reached State Pension age and started claiming Pension Credit (for you as a couple) before 15 May 2019
  • one of you is getting the severe disability premium, or is entitled to it
  • one of you got or was entitled to the severe disability premium within the last month and is still eligible for it
  • you’re in supported, sheltered or temporary housing

If you’re over State Pension age and have an existing claim

Your existing claim will not be affected if, before 15 May 2019, you:

  • were getting Housing Benefit
  • had reached State Pension age

It does not matter if your partner is under State Pension age.

If your circumstances change and your Housing Benefit is stopped, you cannot start getting it again unless you and your partner are eligible to make a new claim.

You can apply for Universal Credit if you’re not eligible.

If you’re in supported, sheltered or temporary housing

You can make a new claim if:

  • you’re living in temporary accommodation, such as a B&B arranged by your council
  • you’re living in a refuge for survivors of domestic abuse
  • you’re living in sheltered or supported housing (such as a hostel) which provides you with ‘care, support or supervision’

If you do not get ‘care, support or supervision’ through your supported or sheltered housing, you can apply for Universal Credit to help with housing costs.

If you’re in supported, sheltered or temporary housing, you can apply for Universal Credit to help with other living costs.

When you may not be able to claim

Usually, you will not get Housing Benefit if:

  • your savings are over £16,000 - unless you get Guarantee Credit of Pension Credit
  • you’re paying a mortgage on your own home - you may be able to get Support for Mortgage Interest (SMI)
  • you live in the home of a close relative
  • you’re already claiming Universal Credit (unless you’re in temporary or supported housing)
  • you live with your partner and they are already claiming Housing Benefit
  • you’re a full-time student
  • you’re residing in the UK as a European Economic Area jobseeker
  • you’re an asylum seeker or sponsored to be in the UK
  • you’re subject to immigration control and your granted leave states that you cannot claim public funds
  • you’re a Crown Tenant
  • you’ve reached State Pension age but your live-in partner has not - unless you had an existing claim as a couple before 15 May 2019

You may be able to get other help with housing costs.

If not, you’ll need to claim Universal Credit instead.

Use a benefits calculator to check if you can get Housing Benefit before you apply