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How to claim housing benefit

What is Housing Benefit?

Housing Benefit helps you pay part or all of your rent if you’re on a low income.

With some exceptions, Housing Benefit is being replaced by a new benefit called Universal Credit. For many people, Universal Credit covers housing costs, so you don’t have to make a separate Housing Benefit claim.

Who should claim Housing Benefit?

You will still need to claim Housing Benefit from South Gloucestershire Council for help with your rent if you:

  • live in temporary or supported accommodation
  • have reached State Pension age. (Check here for more information about State Pension age)
  • are entitled to the severe disability premium in your legacy benefits.  The Department for Work and Pensions will let you know when you need to transfer onto Universal Credit

Who cannot claim Housing Benefit?

Usually, you will not be entitled to Housing Benefit if:

  • you rent your home from a close relative who lives in the same house
  • you own the property you are claiming Housing Benefit for, or you have a mortgage on that property
  • you and your partner have joint savings or investments of more than £16,000
  • you are a foreign national subject to immigration control
  • you are getting, or you are eligible to claim Universal Credit

How to claim Housing Benefit?

You can make a claim by completing the Housing Benefit application form. (see the “Downloads” section on the right-hand side of this webpage).

You can also request a form by telephone or by visiting a One Stop Shop. If you need help to complete this application form, you can visit a One Stop Shop site and speak to a customer service advisor.

Before you send the application form to us, ensure that you have read it carefully and answered all the questions fully, even those that you think do not apply to you. Check also whether you should be claiming for Housing Benefit or Universal Credit. Information regarding this can be found on our website on the ‘About Universal Credit’ page.

Check you have signed all the pages you need to and that you have included all the evidence we ask for. If you do not have all the evidence, do not delay returning the form – send this immediately and notify us as to which evidence will be sent at a later date and tell us when you think you will be able to send the outstanding information.

Once you have filled in the application form, send it to us as soon as possible, as any delay may result in a loss of benefit. It can be posted to us at the address shown in the “Contacts” section on the right-hand side of this page, or it can be sent to us via this email address

If you wish to hand in forms or documents in person, or to seek further advice about Housing Benefit, you can visit one of our one stop shops which can be found in Kingswood, Yate and Patchway.

If you claim Pension Credit, you can make your claim through the Pension Service. For more information, please see here. You will need to tell the Pension Service that you want to claim Housing Benefit and/or Council Tax Reduction.

Further information about Housing Benefit can be found on the website

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