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Housing Benefit

Housing Benefit helps people pay their rent. Anyone who has to pay rent for their home can claim. It does not matter whether your landlord is a housing association or a private individual or company.

Boarders, lodgers and people in hostels and bed and breakfast accommodation can also claim.

Calculate your Housing Benefit

You can use our online Benefits Claim and Calculator to check if you might be eligible for Housing Benefit.

You will not be eligible if you:

  • pay rent to a close relative who lives in the same property, ie your parents or
  • have over £16,000 in capital (unless you're in receipt of guarantee pension credit). This includes savings, investments and some property and land.

Claim Housing Benefit

If you claim Income Support, the Benefits Agency will normally tell the Council. However, you must still complete our Housing Benefit form.

You can claim Housing Benefit online using our Benefits Claim and Calculator.

Alternatively, you can also download and complete our Housing Benefit and Council Tax Support claim form [655kb].

Housing Benefit Payments

There's no set amount of Housing Benefit and what you get will depend on whether you rent privately or from a council or Housing Association.

Council and Social Housing

How much Housing Benefit you receive will depend on:

  • your eligible rent
  • if you have a spare room
  • your household income - including benefits, pensions and savings (over £6,000)
  • your circumstances, for example the age of people in the house or if someone has a disability

Private rent

Local Housing Allowance (LHA) is used to work out Housing Benefit for tenants who rent privately. How much you get is usually based on:

  • where you live
  • your household size
  • your income - including benefits, pensions and savings (over £6,000)
  • your circumstances

More information is available on our Local Housing Allowance page.

Single and Under 35

Anyone under 35 is only able to claim Housing Benefit on a shared accommodation rate to help with their rent (rather than being able to claim for self-contained one-bedroom accommodation).

This means you're only entitled to the lower rate of Housing Benefit for a room in shared accommodation if all of the following apply:

  • you're a single person
  • you're occupying a one-bedroom self contained accommodation in the private rented sector
  • you're not covered by any of the exemptions on sharing accommodation

More information is available on our Local Housing Allowance page.

Claim Backdated Housing Benefit

Housing Benefit is normally awarded from the Monday following the day your claim is received by the Benefit Service at East Herts Council.

However, the law allows us to award Benefit from an earlier date if you have a good reason (good cause) for not applying earlier.

We can only backdate your Benefit up to one month from the date you ask us to, and you must give a good reason why this should be done.

If you or your partner have reached pension credit age, your claim covers any period in the three months before the day the claim is actually received - but only back to the day they reached pension credit age, or the day they became liable for rent or Council Tax, if these are later.

To make a claim for backdated Housing Benefit please complete and return our Backdated Benefits and Reductions form [94kb].

We will write to you within 14 days. If your claim is refused, details of how to appeal will be sent to you.

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