Housing Benefit - Help to pay your rent
Housing Benefit - Help to pay your rent
Claiming benefits can be complicated and confusing, so we are working very hard to make things as straightforward as possible for you.
Housing Benefit provides help towards rent for people on low incomes.
If you receive Housing Benefit or Universal Credit and are finding it difficult to pay your rent, you can apply for additional help through the Discretionary Housing Payments (DHPs) scheme.
How do I claim help towards my rent?
You may have to claim Universal Credit instead of Housing Benefit for help towards your rent.
You can only apply for Housing Benefit if you and any partner are:
- classed as a pensioner.
- live in supported or exempt accommodation.
You can check if you are classed as a pensioner by visiting the Government's information on pension credit eligibility before you make your claim.
If you do not fall in any of the above categories you need to claim Universal Credit for help towards your rent payments
Sometimes we need you to provide us with documents to confirm what you told us when you made your claim. Please do not send valuable items through the post. The kind of things we might need to see include:
- Recent payslips, if you're working
- Your tenancy agreement, to confirm the rent you pay
- Recent bank statements
- Evidence of your National Insurance number
If we have asked to see original documents, you can provide by uploading the documents or taking them to the City Library and Community Hub.
How will my benefit be paid?
If you rent your home from Your Homes Newcastle we will pay your Housing Benefit direct to your rent account.
If you rent your home from a Housing Association you can choose to have your Housing Benefit paid direct to them every four weeks, in arrears. Alternatively, you can choose to have your Housing Benefit paid direct into your bank account every fortnight, in arrears. You are then responsible for ensuring that this money is used towards your rent.
If you rent your home from a private landlord or letting agency we will pay your Housing Benefit direct into your bank account every fortnight, in arrears. You are then responsible for ensuring that this money is used towards your rent.
If you do not keep up with your rent payments your landlord can apply for your Housing Benefit to be paid direct to them.
Direct Payment to landlord
In some circumstances Housing Benefit can be paid direct to the landlord:
- Problems managing money
- Serious debt problems
- History of rent arrears or homelessness
- Unable to open bank account
- In more than 8 weeks arrears
- It is a condition of tenancy agreement
Discretionary Housing Payment (DHP)
If you are receiving Housing Benefit or Universal Credit and are finding it difficult to pay your rent, you can apply for additional help through the Discretionary Housing Payments (DHPs) scheme.
DHPs are not payments of benefit and you should not rely on a payment being made. They are separate payments that we can make at our discretion if we believe that you need additional short term financial support towards your housing costs.
In order to help us decide whether you need additional help with your housing costs you should give us as much information about your situation as possible and provide supporting evidence where appropriate. We look at your income, expenses, your rent charges and your household needs.
If your application is successful your notification letter will tell you the length and amount(s) of your award and how it will be paid. Your award will be based on the individual circumstances of your household.
DHPs are only meant to be a short term help towards meeting your housing costs
Housing Benefit Assessment of War Related Pensions and Income
The Housing Benefit Regulations 2006 make provision for the first £10.00 of income from War Disablement Pension, War Widows (Widowers) Pension and the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme to be disregarded in any housing benefit assessment. The cost of this disregard is fully reimbursed to the Council.
The Social Security Administration Act 1992 gives the Council discretion to disregard any amount it chooses in addition to the statutory provision. The Council has taken advantage of this provision and chose to fully disregard war related pensions and income from Housing Benefit as follows:
- War Disablement Pension
- War Widows (Widowers) Pension
- Income from Armed Forces Compensation Scheme
Policy Statement Update
A decision was made in 2005 by the Council to fully disregarded War Disablement Pensions, War Widows (Widowers) Pensions and Income from Armed Forces Compensation Scheme from the assessment and calculation of Housing Benefit.
The disregard of income from War Disablement Pensions, War Widows (Widowers) Pensions and Armed Forces Compensation Scheme from the assessment and calculation of Housing Benefit will continue.
The purpose of this update is to:
- Remind members, residents and customers of the decision made
- Ensure that income continues to be treated consistently when assessing entitlement to housing benefit
- Establish a framework to ensure that all assessments are dealt with in a fair, consistent, and equal manner
- Make clear the types of pensions disregarded
Did you know?
You may also qualify for help towards Council Tax. If you need help with your council tax payments you can claim Council Tax Support