New Claims - Housing Benefit
New Claims - Housing Benefit
You can claim Housing Benefit if you:
- Receive income-based Jobseekers' Allowance;
- Receive Income Support;
- Receive Employment & Support Allowance;
- Receive Pension Credit or;
- Have a low income.
If you receive income-based Jobseekers' Allowance, Income Support or the guaranteed element of Pension Credit, you will get the maximum amount of Housing Benefit allowable, although the income of any other adults living with you may be taken into account.
You can find out more about Jobseekers' Allowance, Income Support, Employment Support Allowance and Pension Credit by clicking on the "Other benefits you can claim" link at the top right side of this page..
If you do not get income-based Jobseeker's Allowance, Income Support, Employment & Support Allowance or Pension Credit, the amount of Housing Benefit you get depends on:
- The amount of eligible rent that you pay;
- How many people live with you;
- Your personal circumstances;
- How much money you have coming in and
- How much you have in savings.
You cannot get Housing Benefit if:
- You, or your partner (a partner is someone you are married to, or someone you live with as if you are married to them) between you, have more than £16,000 in savings (with the exception of some people who receive the guarantee element of Pension Savings Credit);
- If your landlord is a close relative who lives in your home;
- If your landlord is a former partner and you are renting the home where you used to live together;
- In most cases if you are a student in full-time higher education (degree level or equivalent);
- In most cases if you are an asylum seeker;
- If you are a person sponsored to be in the UK.
Housing Benefit may be restricted if: other people over 18 live with you who could be expected to pay towards their accommodation (even if they don't)
Will I Qualify?
You can complete a benefit calculation which will provide you with your potential entitlement to Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit based on the information that you input. If after completing the benefits calculator you want to continue and make a full application, simply complete the on-line claim form that follows the benefits calculator. Alternatively, call in to one of the 'Fenland @ Your Service' shops, where staff will assist you in making an application. Or telephone us on 01354 654321 during normal office hours to speak with one of our Customer Access advisors and make an application over the telephone.
It is important to consider that we will normally only award benefit from the Monday following the day we receive your claim form, either on-line, on the telephone, by post or in our 'Fenland @ Your Service' shops. SO DON'T DELAY, CLAIM TODAY!
Local Housing Allowance
Local Housing Allowance (or LHA as it is known) is based on the location of the property and its household size, rather than the actual rent being charged. LHA takes into account the number of bedrooms required by the claimant and their household. Claimants with similar circumstances will find that, in the majority of cases, they are entitled to the same rate of benefit regardless of the rent they pay.
The maximum bedroom rate for LHA purposes is the 4 Bedroom rate regardless of a household needing more than 4 bedrooms.
Local Housing Allowance has replaced the old scheme of referring rents to the rent officer, however if you have an existing claim which started prior to April 2008 then you will continue on the old scheme and your rent will be referred to the Rent Officer.
A list of Local Housing Allowance rates can be found at Local Housing Allowance Rates If you have any further questions regarding LHA then visit our Frequently Asked Questions page.
The Rent Service
The Rent Service is an executive agency of the Department for Work and Pensions. The Rent Service provides valuations for local authorities in England, for use in the assessment of claims for Housing Benefit where the tenant is renting from a private landlord. The Rent Service will only provide decisions for claims made prior to April 2008 that are currently in payment with no breaks in the claim.
In making a determination the Rent Officer will consider:
- The level of rent;
- The rent for similar properties within the vicinity;
- The number of rooms;
- The age and number of people living within the property being assessed;
- The determination will usually run for 12 months unless there is a significant change to the property or the number of people included within the household.
How is Housing Benefit Paid?
Your Housing Benefit will be paid directly into your bank or building society account although it may be possible that your Housing Benefit is paid direct to your Landlord if it is deemed that you are unable to deal with your own finances.
Appeals and Complaints
If you are refused Housing Benefit and you think the decision is wrong, or you think the amount of Housing Benefit has been calculated incorrectly, you can ask for the decision to be looked at again, or you can appeal. You should do this within one month of the date the decision is notified to you.
If you are not happy with the service you have received from the Housing Benefit section, you can complain. You can do this whether or not you are also challenging the entitlement decision.
For further details regarding customer complaints see the Comments, complements and complaints section (3cs) or complete one of our forms .
For further information please contact us
We just look after Housing Benefit, Council Tax Benefit and Council Tax Support. There could be benefits provided by the Government that you may get, see the link at the top right of this page for more.