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Guide to Housing Benefit and Council Tax Support

Find detailed information about Housing Benefit and Council Tax Support including who is eligible to apply for it.

Claiming benefit

You can claim benefit if:

  • you pay rent to a private landlord, a housing association or for a council home
  • you pay Council Tax on your home
  • your savings are less than £16,000 (unless you receive Guarantee Credit)

Usually you won’t get Housing Benefit if:

  • your savings are over £16,000 - unless you get Guarantee Credit or Pension Credit
  • you live in the home of a close relative
  • you’re a full-time student - unless you’re disabled or have children
  • you’re residing in the UK as an European Economic Area jobseeker
  • you’re an asylum seeker or sponsored to be in the UK
  • you’re subject to immigration control and your granted leave states that you can’t claim public funds

Universal Credit may include money towards your housing costs. You’ll have to arrange with your landlord to start paying your own rent, if you don’t do this already.

Find out more about Universal Credit

Claim Housing benefit and Council Tax support online

If you apply late, and ask us to pay for a 'backdated' period, we might not be able to pay you for that period.

If you need help in completing the application form, or if you have a question about your claim, you can either:

  • email [email protected]
  • call our Customer Services Helpline on 0800 072 0042
  • visit one of our Customer Services Offices on 180 Vauxhall Bridge Road, London SW1V 1ER

If English is not your first language, we can translate our documents for you.

Please contact us telling us which document you have received and which language you need.

We aim to provide documents in plain English and in formats that everyone can use. If you would like information in large print, Braille or a different language or format, please contact us.

Our call centre operates a language line and we can arrange for interpreters to assist you at our offices.

Published: 8 December 2020

Last updated: 18 March 2024