Housing Benefit is a payment to help people on a low income to pay their rent. You cannot receive the benefit if you have a mortgage or a home loan.


If you are on low income you may be able to claim Housing Benefit to help pay your rent.

In order to be eligible for Housing Benefit, you must live in the UK, be on a low income and pay rent. You cannot receive the benefit if you have a mortgage or a home loan.

Universal credit has replaced housing benefit for most working age people.

Before you submit a new claim housing benefit check to see if you should be claiming Universal Credit instead.

You can only make a new claim for Housing Benefit if one or more of the following applies:

  • you are a pensioner
  • you live in temporary accommodation
  • you live in sheltered or supported housing
  • you live in temporary accommodation
  • you are receiving severe disability premium as part of your income support, income-based jobseeker's allowance or income-related employment and support allowance;

If none of these apply you need to Universal Credit NOT Housing Benefit.

Full details of what you can claim, eligibility, how to claim and how you will receive payment of Housing Benefit can be found at GOV.UK.

Further details of Housing Benefit can be found at the following links:

Discretionary Housing Payment (DHP)

If you are already receiving Housing Benefit you may be able to get additional help from the council if you are struggling to pay your rent. 

Discretionary Housing Payments (DHPs) can provide extra money when your council decides that you need extra help to meet your housing costs.

A claim for a Discretionary Housing Payment is different to a claim for Housing Benefit.

Full details of DHP, eligibility and how to claim are available at MAG - Discretionary Housing Payment.

Benefit Cap

Housing Benefit counts towards the Benefit Cap. Your Housing Benefit may go down to make sure that the total amount of benefit you get isn’t more than the cap level.

For details on the Benefits Cap follow this link.

Universal Credit

If you’re claiming Universal Credit, you can get help paying for housing with your Universal Credit payment INSTEAD of getting Housing Benefit.

For a full explanation of Universal Credit follow this link.

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