How to claim Housing Benefit

To make a claim for Housing Benefit, you need to complete a claim form and provide proof to support your claim.

When should you claim?

Generally, claim as soon as you believe you may be entitled to Housing Benefit. As with most other benefits, there are strict rules in Housing Benefit governing the time-limits for which claims can be submitted. We can also accept advance claims (for example if you know you are moving into a new property in two weeks time).

It is very important that your claim form is handed in as soon as possible, if you delay you may lose benefit.

When will the benefit start?

We try to pay Housing Benefit within 14 days of getting all the information we need to work out your benefit claim. However, benefit is often delayed because we are waiting for information.

We can normally only pay Housing Benefit from the Monday following the date we receive your claim. We can treat your claim as being made from the date you ask for a form from us, providing we receive your fully completed claim form within one month of sending it to you.

To avoid missing any Housing Benefit new tenants should claim just before they move in. Existing tenants should claim as soon as they need help.

Backdated Housing Benefit

In most cases Housing Benefit is paid from the Monday after we get your claim form, but in some cases we can pay it from an earlier date. It may be possible to backdate your claim for up to:

  • three months from the date you ask if you are of pensionable age; or
  • one month from the date you ask if you are under pensionable age and there is a good reason why you didn't claim earlier.

If you would like your claim to be backdated, you will need to request this in writing and you must have a good reason for not claiming earlier.