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Young People and benefits - Young people with housing costs

If you are aged under 18 (or under 20 in some circumstances), there may be extra rules to meet to get benefits. If you cannot get benefits in your own right, someone else, such as a parent or guardian, may be able to claim amounts for you within the benefits they get.

Young people with housing costs


You may be able to get help to pay your rent through Universal Credit.

You must be paying rent under a commercial agreement. You cannot get Housing Benefit or the housing Element of Universal Credit if you live with your landlord and they are a close relative, e.g. your parents.

It is no longer possible to make new claims for Housing Benefit (Housing Benefit England Scotland and Wales/ Housing Benefit Northern Ireland), but if you are already getting it you may be able to carry on getting it as long as you carry on meeting the conditions of entitlement.

Universal Credit and Housing Benefit are means tested so whether you qualify will depend on your income and circumstances. You can still claim even if you are working full time.

As a young person you will probably find that your Housing Benefit or the Housing Element of your Universal Credit is restricted to the cost of living in accommodation with shared facilities.

There is no minimum age limit to claim Housing Benefit, but you must be able to show you have a legal liability to pay rent, which may be difficult if you are under 16.

Remember that if you are a care leaver, you may not qualify for  Housing Benefit or Universal Credit at all, even if you would otherwise meet all entitlement rules.

Council Tax

If you are on a low income and liable to pay Council Tax you may be able to claim help with your Council Tax through Council Tax Support. However, if you are aged under 18 you will not be liable for Council Tax.

If you are a full-time student in advanced education, you may not be able to claim Housing Benefit or Council Tax Support unless you fall within a certain category – see our Studying (aged 16+) section. There are no rules preventing you from claiming Housing Benefit or Council Tax Support if you are in relevant education or if you are under 21 and studying on a course below degree level which you started before you were 19.


Updated: April 2019

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