You will also have to show that you are responsible for the rent, for example, by providing a tenancy agreement. They can also decide some of the conditions you'll have to meet to make an electronic claim. For more information about extended payments of Housing Benefit, see Benefits and tax credits for people in work. Your circumstances can be checked at any time while you are claiming and fraud officers can also get information about you from other government agencies and from your employer, bank or utility companies. If you can't use the online form, ask for a paper form instead and say why you need it. The local authority works out how much Housing Benefit you're entitled to based on the rent officer's decision. More on Housing Benefit rent restrictions if your social housing is too large Private tenants on or after 7 April If you're the tenant of a private landlord and you make a new claim for Housing Benefit on or after 7 April , your local authority will normally calculate how much rent your Housing Benefit can cover using the Local Housing Allowance rules. You can appeal against a decision to impose a civil penalty. This could lead to a quicker decision on your claim. There are also rules about how student grants, loans and other financial support are treated when your income is being calculated. If you have two homes or you are temporarily away from home , you may be able to get Housing Benefit, depending on the circumstances. Even if you are not committing fraud, you can cause an overpayment which will have to be repaid. Alternatively, you may be able to claim Housing Benefit by telephone if your local authority has published a phone number for making telephone claims. How much of your rent Housing Benefit can cover is decided by a rent officer. If Housing Benefit is paid directly to you, this will be by cheque, giro cheque cashable at the Post Office, or straight into your bank or building society account. Further help with housing costs If your Housing Benefit does not cover all of your rent and you need more help, as long as you are entitled to some Housing Benefit you can ask the local authority for a discretionary housing payment.
It does not matter if your landlord is the council, a housing association or private landlord. You can do this whether or not you are also challenging a Housing Benefit decision. Only one member of a couple who live together can claim Housing Benefit. Minimum payments The minimum amount of Housing Benefit which can be paid each week is 50p. If you are not sure whether to report a change, you should do so anyway. If your Housing Benefit does not cover all of your rent and you need more help, you may be able to get some additional money from the local authority. From 7 November , there are differents rates for the Benefit cap - one for Greater London and one for the rest of the country. If you can't use the online form, ask for a paper form instead and say why you need it. Some local authorities only offer online forms. This is called the standard Local Housing Allowance and is decided by a rent officer. Information to support your claim When you apply for Housing Benefit, you will have to provide your national insurance NI number. To find out more about making a 'rapid reclaim', ask your local Jobcentre Plus. If you do not report relevant changes, you may be underpaid, or you may cause an overpayment which you will have to pay back. However, some capital is ignored, for example, your personal possessions. If you feel that you've been discriminated against when you are paid benefits or tax credits, you can make a complaint about this. If you have to pay rent on two homes at the same time You can usually only get Housing Benefit for one home at a time. You also have to show that you were entitled to Housing Benefit throughout the period of backdating — that you were paying rent, and your income was low enough. The time limit is 12 weeks if you have previously made a claim for Housing Benefit and Employment and Support Allowance. You can only be asked to pay this penalty if you haven't committed fraud. You can only get Housing Benefit if you are responsible for paying the rent for your home, or live with your partner who is responsible for the rent. If the local authority say that you cannot get Housing Benefit because you are not responsible for the rent, or you think this might apply to you, you should consult an experienced adviser, for example, at your nearest Citizens Advice. It's up to your local authority to decide whether to allow electronic claims. For more information about financial support for higher education in Scotland, see Student Awards Agency guide to support for students in higher education. This can be backdated for the entire period when you qualify for it, after 1 April Housing Benefit will not cover some costs and services which could be included in your rent, for example, water charges, charges for heating, hot water, lighting or cooking, and payments for food or fuel. You can ask the local authority's Housing Benefit office to tell you which Local Housing Allowance figure will be used to calculate your Housing Benefit or you can look on the Valuation Office Agency website at www. You should report any relevant changes of circumstances which could affect your entitlement to Housing Benefit or the amount you get, for example, if your partner leaves, you have a new child, or you move address within the same local authority.
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