Housing benefit provides help towards the cost of accommodation. If you live in rented accommodation you may qualify for this help if you:
- Currently claim state benefit i.e. Job Seekers Allowance, Income Support, Employment Support Allowance or State Retirement Pension.
- Earn a low wage, whether you work full or part-time. You might also have children and be claiming Working Tax Credit.
Your landlord might be a Housing Association or a private landlord. You may rent a whole house or just a room.
The amount of help will depend on your income, personal and family circumstances. We will ignore any income you may get from war pensions or widows pensions. You can get an estimate of your housing benefit using the online Benefits Calculator.
How to apply
We have changed the way that new claimants apply for Housing Benefit and Council Tax Support by introducing an online claim form.
Submit your claim from the comfort of your own home
A huge benefit of the new system is that people will be able to make claims and submit documents from their own homes at any time of the day, or even while on the move using mobile devices or laptops.
The move will make applications for benefits easier for residents and enable people to get their payments quicker. It's being brought in as part of the national shift towards claiming for benefits online including the further roll out of Universal Credit, which is due to be implemented this year.
Ideally new claimants should have a working email address when submitting a new claim. You can apply for housing benefit by using the electronic form below:
Technical support for those who need it
Our Customer Contact Centre’s will continue to provide support for people who do not have access to online facilities or who need assistance to make a claim. Additional computers will be provided in our Centre’s for people to make claims and staff will provide face-to-face help.
People can also use computers at libraries across South Worcestershire.
One month to complete an application
The form includes full instructions on how to make claims as well as a list of the evidence and documents that claimants need to provide. New claimants are advised not to delay submitting their forms as they will have one month to either email your scanned or photographed supporting documents to firstname.lastname@example.org or drop them into our Customer Contact Centre at The Hive.
People who rent their homes and who are on a low income can apply for Housing Benefit which is means tested at the point of application. Council Tax Support can cover a percentage of the bills for people of working age and up to 100 per cent for pensioners.
Already receiving Housing Benefit?
If you are already receiving housing or council tax benefit but the benefit payment amount does not cover your total rent/council tax bill, then you can apply for an additional Discretionary Housing Payment.
For details of other benefits to which you may be entitled, visit the Department for Work and Pensions website or the Citizens Advice Bureau Advice guide website. You can also find what the rates of benefit are by visiting the Rightsnet website.
Paying your Housing BenefitWe cannot pay your benefit by cheque, if you do not have a bank account. Find out about basic bank accounts.