How do I make a claim?
Housing Benefit is payable in respect of the family. The term family includes single claimants, lone parents and married or unmarried couples with or without children. The family must occupy the property as their home and be liable to pay rent. Tenants may only claim benefit in respect of one property at a time except in special circumstances, for example, if they have to vacate the home temporarily through fear of violence.
The following routes are available for claiming Housing Benefit:
1.) Together with a claim for income support or jobseeker's allowance (income based);
2.) By direct application to the Local Authority.
Where the claim is made direct to the Local Authority entitlement generally begins on the Monday following receipt of the claim, even if a claim is received on a Monday. However if a claim is received in the same week as the tenancy started, we can pay Housing Benefit from the Monday of that week if the rent is on a weekly basis.
Housing Benefit cannot normally be paid for a period before you move into the property even where you have a liability to pay rent before you move in.
However in certain circumstances, you can be treated as occupying your property for up to 4 weeks before you moved in, for example if the delay in moving in is necessary to adapt the new home to meet the disablement needs of yourself or a member of your family. You will need to contact the Benefit Section for advice if you are unsure if you can get Benefit before you move into your property.
You can request an application form in person or over the telephone and providing you return the application form within one month of requesting it then your claim will commence from the date that you requested it.
It is important that you complete and return the claim form to us at the address shown below as soon as possible.
If you do not have all the proof that we have asked you for on the form straight away you still need to return the form to us. If you delay sending the form to us, you could lose benefit.