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Housing Benefit (England, Scotland and Wales) - Can I get 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.

Can I get Housing Benefit?

Housing Benefit and Universal Credit

Housing Benefit is being replaced by Universal Credit. You will only be able to make a new claim for Housing Benefit in the situations listed below. Otherwise you would have to claim Universal Credit to get help with your housing costs.  

You can still make a new claim for Housing Benefit in one of the following situations:

  • You (or your partner) have reached the qualifying age for Pension Credit, (if you live with a partner and one is pension age and the other isn't, use the Benefits Calculator to check what you can get), or
  • You were homeless and have been placed in temporary accommodation by the council.

If you or your partner are receiving a 'legacy benefit' such as Child Tax Credit or Housing Benefit, you will lose these if you make a claim for Universal Credit. 

If you are on Housing Benefit and your situation stays the same, you won’t have to claim Universal Credit at present. 

Can I get Housing Benefit?

You can still get Housing Benefit in one of the following situations:

  • You are on Housing Benefit at present (unless you try to claim another legacy benefit or Universal Credit) or
  • You (or your partner) have reached the qualifying age for Pension Credit, or
  • You were homeless and have been placed in temporary accommodation by the council.

In addition:

  • You are responsible for paying the rent on the home where you normally live, and
  • Your income is low enough, and
  • Your capital and savings are under £16,000 (unless you get Guarantee Pension Credit, in which case there is no capital limit).

It does not matter if your landlord is a private landlord or a social landlord, for example, a council or housing association. If you live with a partner, only one of you can claim Housing Benefit for you both. If you qualify, Housing Benefit can be paid whether or not you are working.

Housing Benefit does not help with a mortgage. See our Support for Mortgage Interest Loan guide if you are a homeowner.

You do not qualify for Housing Benefit if you:

  • Live in the home of a close relative

  • Are a full-time student (unless you have a disability or children).

What happens to my Housing Benefit if I change my address?

If you are on Housing Benefit and change address, you can stay on Housing Benefit if you stay within the same local authority area, if this is your only change of circumstance.

If you move to an area which has a different council, you won't be able to claim Housing Benefit and would have to claim Universal Credit instead, unless you are moving into temporary accommodation provided by the council.

Updated: September 2021

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