You may have entitlement to Housing Benefit or Local Housing Allowance if you are on a low income. It can pay all or part of your rent whether you are working or unemployed.
HOUSING BENEFIT: The amount you might get depends on your income and household circumstances.
You can still apply for Housing Benefit no matter whether you are out of a job or in work.
In some cases, even if your benefit stops, you may still be able to get financial help to pay your rent.
Using a benefits calculator will help you check whether you can get Housing Benefit. It will also calculate what else you might get entitled to.
Note: If you cannot get help with your rent you might qualify for Universal Credit instead. You cannot use your Housing Benefit entitlement to pay for energy, food, heating, or hot water.
HOW MUCH: There are no set Housing Benefit rates - you might get all the rent paid or only part of it. Whether you rent from a council or 'privately' determines the actual amount you get.
ELIGIBILITY: The section explains how to meet the Housing Benefit eligibility criteria. But, some claimants may need to apply for Universal Credit instead.
EVIDENCE: You are going to need to provide some basic information. Check what details and evidence you need to support a claim for Housing Benefit.
APPLICATION: There are several different ways to claim Housing Benefit payments. The method to use depends on whether you are making a new claim for other benefits at the same.
The Housing Benefit you get might not always cover the amount of rent you need to pay. In this case, you can apply for Housing Benefit through your local authority to help cover the rent. The council call this a 'discretionary housing payment'.
You might also qualify for extra help paying energy bills or making your home more energy efficient. Check for government grants and other ways to improve energy efficiency on the energy grants calculator. It will help you find out what energy saving improvements might help your situation.
Some of your rights to benefits can stop if your circumstances change. Typical reasons would be going back to work, working extra hours, or earning more money. In this case, you might get an extra four weeks of Housing Benefit to help you pay the rent.
The council call this an 'Extended Payment of Housing Benefit'. They will contact you if you qualify. You must have received the qualifying benefits 'continuously' for at least 26 weeks right up to the time when you went back to work. You might then get 'in-work Housing Benefit' once the extended payment ends.
Note: There is no need to claim it. The council will decide whether you qualify for the extra help and write to let you know if you do.
Housing Benefit Entitlement Guide for the United Kingdom