Housing Benefit (HB) helps people pay their rent or some other housing costs. HB does not cover help in repaying your mortgage. The general rule is that, to get HB, you must be personally liable to pay the rent on your home. You can usually only get HB on one home at a time, which is the dwelling 'normally occupied' by yourself as the home and any members of your family. However, there are exceptions.
WHO CAN GET HB?
You can get HB if you satisfy all the following conditions:
- You pass the habitual residence test and have the right to reside
- You are not excluded from getting HB
- You are liable to pay rent on your normal home
- Your capital/savings are no more than £16,000
- You are on a low income
HOW MUCH IS HB?
The amount you get will vary depending on your circumstances.
HOW DO YOU CLAIM HB?
You can make a claim for HB at the same time as you make a claim for Income Support, Employment and Support Allowance or Job Seekers Allowance, or, you can contact you Local Authority or complete one of their claim forms.
SOCIAL HOUSING TENANTS
If you are of working age and are renting social housing (from your local authority or from a housing association) your housing benefit will have the same size criteria applied as for private tenants. If your home has one 'empty' bedroom you will lose 14% of your maximum eligible rent. If you have two empty bedrooms you will lose 25% of your maximum eligible rent. You will not have a four bedroom limit on your housing benefit. You may be able to get help, if you are affected, under the discretionary housing payments scheme. Doncaster Council Discretionary Housing Payment Scheme.
The size criteria will not apply to you if you or your partner are over state pension credit age.
*Please note that between now and 2017 Housing Benefit will be abolished and support for help with your rent will be paid as part of Universal Credit. If you are over State Pension age you are able to claim for support with your rent in your Pension Credit.
Whilst all the information given in this document was correct at the time of going to press, DIAL Doncaster cannot be held responsible for any subsequent changes.