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Housing Benefit (England, Scotland and Wales) - What is Housing Benefit?

Find out more about Housing Benefit (England, Scotland and Wales).

What is Housing Benefit?

Housing Benefit is money to help you with your housing costs if you are on a low income. It can help with rent and some service charges. Housing Benefit is being replaced by Universal Credit.  Please go to 'Can I get Housing Benefit?' page of this guide, for information on who can still claim.

If you qualify, Housing Benefit can be paid whether or not you are working.

The amount of Housing Benefit you get may be restricted by the Local Housing Allowance Rate in your area if you are a private tenant, and could be restricted by the  number of bedrooms you have 'Bedroom Tax'  if you are a social tenant.

A Benefit Cap may be applied to your Housing Benefit if the total amount of certain benefits that you get is more than a specified amount, your Housing Benefit could be reduced in this case.

You cannot get Housing Benefit to help with the costs of a mortgage or home loan. If you own the home you live in, you may be able to get a loan for mortgage interest if you are getting Income Support, income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA), Pension Credit, or Universal Credit (if have no earnings). A leaseholder could also get help with eligible services and ground rent if entitled to these benefits.


Applies to: England, Scotland and Wales
If you live in Northern Ireland, see our Housing Benefit (Northern Ireland) guide.

Age rules: There are no specific age rules that affect Housing Benefit entitlement but you must be old enough to enter into a tenancy agreement.

Type of benefit: Means-tested

Taxable: No

Administered by: Your local council


Updated: December 2018

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