Housing benefit is a social security benefit which helps people on low income with their housing costs. It can cover rent, rates and some service charges.
You don't need to be on benefits to claim housing benefit.
What is housing benefit?
Housing benefit is a benefit which helps people on low income with their housing costs. This page explains more about what it is, what it covers and who can claim it. More
Who can claim housing benefit?
You can claim housing benefit if you pay rent or rates for your home. You don’t have to be unemployed or claiming other benefits to get housing benefit. You will only be allowed to claim housing benefit if you pass six tests. More
How to claim housing benefit?
If you think you may be entitled to housing benefit, you should claim as soon as possible. Housing benefit is usually awarded from the Monday following the date of your application. More
How much housing benefit will I get?
The amount of housing benefit you get depends on your personal circumstances. It is rare that housing benefit will cover the whole of the rent you have to pay your landlord. More
Changes to housing benefit
From April 2013 the amount of housing benefit which you receive may be reduced if you live in a property that is regarded in law as being too large for your needs. More
Every tenant has a right to apply for housing benefit. However, most students at university or college are not entitled to it, unless they fall into certain categories. More
Problems with housing benefit
The rules about housing benefit are complicated. This section outlines some of the most common problems you may experience with your housing benefit application. More
My first payment is late
The Housing Executive must make a decision about your housing benefit application within 14 days of your application. If the Housing Executive doesn’t tell you the decision within 14 days, you may be entitled to an interim payment. More
Challenging a housing benefit decision
Your housing benefit application may be turned down for a number of reasons. If you don’t agree with the Housing Executive's decision, you may be able to challenge it. This section outlines the process for appealing the decision. More
If some of your benefit entitlements come to an end because you have taken up employment, increased your hours of work or your earnings, you may be able to continue receiving housing benefit for an additional four week period. This is knows as the extended payments scheme. More
Keeping your claim up to date
It is important that you tell the Housing Executive about a change in your circumstances. This section explains how to keep your claim up to date and what could happen if you don’t tell the Housing Executive when your circumstances change. More
Housing benefit for rates
Whether you own or rent your home, you may get housing benefit to help you pay your rates. This is known as rate relief or housing benefit for rates. More
Supporting people & housing benefit
Your housing benefit statements may show that you are getting less housing benefit if you are getting Supporting People services. This is because the full cost of the support service is now paid to the provider, rather than as part of your housing benefit. More