Housing Benefit (Northern Ireland) - How do I claim 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.

How do I claim Housing Benefit?


Rate Relief

You can fill in a Rate Relief application form online for help with your rates. 

You can also ask for a form by contacting:


You can get a claim form by contacting the Housing Executive:

Rate Rebate for Universal Credit claimants 

You can apply for Rate Rebate online. If you need help with completing your Rate Rebate application, contact the Rate Rebate team online or call on 0300 200 7802.

What documents will I need to claim Housing Benefit?

When you claim Housing Benefit, you must give your and evidence of who you are, for example, a birth certificate or driving licence. You also need to give evidence that you must pay the rent, for example, your rent book or tenancy agreement. If you are not claiming benefits like Pension Credit you must give evidence of your income and savings, for example, bank statements or pay slips.

When will my Housing Benefit claim begin?

If you download the form, you should also contact them immediately on the telephone to let them know that you are going to make a claim. The date of your phone call may be used to decide when your right to Housing Benefit, if any, will start.

Housing Benefit can be backdated for up to one month if you would have been entitled to it earlier. You have to show a good reason for not claiming sooner. Request this when claiming.

If you and your partner are over Pension Credit age and you are not getting Income Support or income-based Jobseeker's Allowance, your claim can be backdated for up to three months. It does not matter why your claim is late. Request this when claiming.

Change of circumstances

You must report changes in your circumstances which might affect your entitlement to this benefit. You can report any changes in your circumstances online.

Housing Benefit claimants in England, Scotland and Wales will have to claim Universal Credit if they move to an area which has a different council. This doesn’t apply in Northern Ireland.

Reviewed: February 2023


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