Housing benefit is paid by your local council and is to provide help towards your rent. To be eligible for housing benefit you do not have to be in receipt of any other benefits.
To be eligible for housing benefit you must be on a low income, paying rent and have less than £16,000 in savings. You can’t get housing benefit if you are living in a close relatives house, are a full time student or an asylum seeker.
Entitlements to housing benefit are worked out on each individual case. Factors taken into consideration will be your age, the size of your family, whether you or a member of your family is disabled, the size of the property and the amount of rent. A calculation of your total income, minus specific deductions will be made and housing benefit will be awarded in accordance. Application forms for housing benefit are available from your local authority. They will want details of all members of your family (or others) living in the house, including proof of NI numbers, all income details plus bank statements.
Deductions are made for non-dependants sharing the household.
Because of the complex nature of calculating an income support entitlement and application it is advisable to seek experienced help, either from your local Citizens Advice Bureau, independent advice centre, Benefit Enquiry Line.
Housing benefit will become part of Universal credit. You will be paid mthly in arrears as a lump sum.You will be responsible for paying your own rent to your social landlord.
A Housing Benefit cap will be introduced on social rented homes which are under – occupied. A couple without children in two bedroom house could have their benefit restricted based on the size of property they need. You may face a cut of an average of £11.00 a week in housing benefit. Increased housing benefit deductions for people who have a non-dependant (grown up family or lodgers) living with them. It could mean a household with a non dependant on minimum wage in full time work will lose about £50 a week in housing benefit. They hope to bring in changes from October 2013 and everyone transferred onto universal credit by 2017.