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How To Apply for Housing Benefit in the UK

The UK government is working to ensure that everyone affords decent housing, regardless of their financial ability. Of course, you have to pass particular criteria before claiming this service. If you are looking to access subsidised housing options, here are things you must do to solidify your application.

How To Apply for Housing Benefit in the UK

What Is Housing Benefit and Who Can Apply?

Housing benefit is a government program allowing UK citizens to access decent housing opportunities at any age. This program is also available to unemployed people and individuals with low incomes.

Persons who’ve reached the pension age are among those who can apply for this service. Brits in supported, sheltered, or temporary housing can also benefit from the housing benefit.

Difference Between the Housing Benefit and Universal Credit

Universal credit is a monthly stipend given to needy UK nationals to help them with their monthly expenses. This money can be used to pay rent, take care of utilities, and cater to basic needs. On the other hand, the housing benefit is a program available to the same people but only to cater to their housing needs.

When should you apply?

You should apply for the housing benefit if you struggle to meet your rent. You can also apply for this aid if you have attained or are past the pension age. If you are part of a community in the brackets of supported, sheltered, or temporary housing, this is also a great time to start applying for the housing benefit.

Requirements And Documentation Needed

When applying for housing benefits, you should provide information about other payments included in the rent, your landlord’s or agent’s details, service charges, and the rent amount. Documents you must produce are:

  • • Recent pay slips
  • • Building society or bank statements
  • • Proof of other income or investments
  • • Income details of non-dependents in your home
  • Valid identification documents
  • • Tenancy agreement book and a letter from your landlord ascertaining the tenancy if you live in a private home

Where And How To Apply For Housing Benefits

When applying for housing benefits, you can utilize two options. Either apply through your local council or pension credit. If you opt for the former options, you will need to visit the housing benefit council website and provide your postcode. Once you hit enter, the website will redirect you to the most suitable portal to submit your application. You will find an icon prompting you to start the application process. Click on it, fill out the form, and save as you go. Remember to upload the required attachments before you submit the application.

However, if you opt to apply using the latter recommendation, you must visit the pension credit website for more directions. The process is pretty simple as you only need to select “Apply” and answer the questions. You must have supporting documents when you begin the application to make it successful/

If you can’t apply online, the bureau allows you to do so by phone or send the request by post.

What Kinds of Housing Can You Apply For?

Once you successfully apply for this fund, you can receive partial or complete payments for your rent. However, this depends on your housing options. Individuals living in council homes are more likely to receive total rent payments than those in privately-owned houses.

You can apply for either social and council housing rent or private housing benefits. When you apply for social and council rent, how much you receive depends on the spare and sharing bedrooms. Private housing benefits that you receive depend on where you live and your household size.

How Much Rent Would You Have to Pay?

It’s challenging to find out how much rent you will have to pay because many factors come into play when calculating this amount. However, you should note that the amount you have to pay increases significantly when you live in a privately owned property. Persons in social and council homes bear a less strenuous burden as far as rent is concerned.

Applicants receive the amount in various ways depending on their housing plan.If you live in a council home, the rent will be paid directly to the rent account, while those in private houses will receive the money directly to their bank account or housing association. The organisation rarely uses cheques for housing beneficiaries.

Validity And Processing Time

The council takes two weeks to process any housing benefits claims they receive. The date on your application or the day the written claim arrives at their offices is the first day of the process. If you do not provide all the necessary details, it may prolong the process.

A claim on housing benefits is indefinite, meaning it lasts as long as the claimant is alive. However, you lose rights over the claim if you receive a large sum of money through inheritance or get a better-paying job that allows you to afford market-rate rent. Another circumstance that leads to the loss of housing benefits is when a claimant fails to respond to checks on their current circumstances.

You can also read

- How to Claim Benefits in the UK