You are now leaving the Turn2us site. Turn2us is not responsible for content on third party sites.

Housing Benefit (Northern Ireland) - 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, some service charges and also with rates. 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 instead.  

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

You can find out whether you can make a claim for Housing Benefit  by using our Benefits Calculator or by seeking advice. You can find an advice agency in your area by using our Find an Adviser tool.  

Read more about Universal Credit on our website.

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 placed in temporary accommodation by the council.

In addition:

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

It does not matter if your landlord is a private landlord or if you have a social landlord. 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 cover a mortgage. See our Support for Mortgage Interest guide if you are a homeowner.

In Northern Ireland, if you own your own home, and qualify for Housing Benefit, you can claim Housing Benefit to help with the rates. Housing Benefit for rates is sometimes called 'rate relief'. If you claim Universal Credit or you need to make a new claim for help with your rates, there is a rate rebate scheme.

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 have children).

What happens to my Housing Benefit if I change address?

If you are on Housing Benefit and change address, you can re-claim Housing Benefit if you stay within the same local authority area, if this is your only change of circumstance.  However, if you move to an area which has a different council, you won’t be able to claim Housing Benefit and will have to claim Universal Credit instead, unless you are in temporary accommodation provided by the Council.

Updated: January 2021

Anything wrong with this page?

Tell us the problem

Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Please enter what you were doing
Please enter what you'd like to report
Please enter the security code shown

Thank you

If you would like to tell us more please visit our contact page


Struggling with Energy and Water bills?

Find out what benefits, grants and other schemes may be available to you.

Read about help with energy and water costs

England: Council Tax Rebate April 2022

Read our Frequently Asked Questions guide.

Find out about the Council Tax Rebate

Check benefit entitlement

Find out what means-tested benefits you might be entitled to, including tax credits.

Use the Benefits Calculator

Grants Search

Search our database of grant-giving organisations

Search for grants

Find a Local Adviser

Search for your nearest sources of information and advice

Find an Local Adviser