Housing Benefit

Housing Benefit financially covers both housing association rents and privately rented accommodation. You may be able to claim for help to pay the rent for your home if you or someone who lives with you are on a low income.

Am I eligible?

You can claim Housing Benefit if any of these apply:

  • you are receiving a severe disability premium or received it within the last month.
  • you have reached State Pension age
  • you live in temporary accommodation
  • you live in sheltered or supported housing

If not, you'll need to claim Universal Credit.

If you are in any doubt whether you would be awarded Housing Benefit, submit a claim anyway. If the rules do not allow you to apply for the award, we will write to you and explain why.

Use the GOV.UK benefits calculator to find out what benefits you may be entitled to and how your benefits will be affected if you start work.

How to claim

Complete the online claim form: Start a new claim

Evidence checklist

  • Once you have completed the form you will see an evidence checklist, which lists the documents that you need to provide in order for us to assess your claim.
  • You can e-mail the evidence required to benefits@southworcestershirerevenues.gov.uk quoting your claim number in the subject heading, or you can hand in your documents at any of our contact centres in DroitwichEvesham or Pershore
  • You will receive a notification to tell you that we have received your application.

Application support

Our contact centres in DroitwichEvesham, and Pershore will continue to provide support for people who do not have access to online facilities or who need assistance to make a claim. Additional computers will be provided in our centres for people to make claims and staff will provide face-to-face help.

Payments

Payments of Housing Benefits are paid directly into your bank account. If you do not have a bank account, you would need to open a new account. You can seek advice from any of our contact centres in DroitwichEvesham or Pershore.

Backdating

If there has been a reason which stopped or delayed you applying for Housing Benefit you can ask for your claim to be 'backdated' for a maximum of 1 month, so that it starts from an earlier date.

You can only ask for a backdate of benefits if there is a good reason why you were unable to apply for your benefit earlier. You have to prove "good cause", some examples of when you may have "good cause" are:

  • if you did not immediately claim benefit after leaving the hospital
  • if you were ill and had no-one to make a claim on your behalf
  • if you did not understand that you could claim benefit because of age, inexperience or language difficulties
  • if you have suffered a recent family bereavement

Pension Age claimants

If you have reached the qualifying age for State Pension Credit we can backdate your benefit automatically to a maximum of 3 months from the date of your claim. You do not need to show good cause, but you must provide proof of your income for the period of backdating.

How to make a claim for backdating

Under Housing Benefit law your application for benefit must be made in writing to Revenues and Benefits, PO Box 11, Pershore, WR10 1PU or benefits@southworcestershirerevenues.gov.uk.

Your claim will be considered by a Benefits Officer. The more information and evidence you give in support of your claim the quicker a decision can be made.

If we have decided that you have not shown "good cause" and that we cannot backdate your claim, the reasons for this will be explained in our letter. You will then have the right to appeal against our decision not to backdate your claim.

Extended payments (when returning to work)

You may be able to continue receiving Housing Benefit for an additional four week period, if some of your benefit entitlements come to an end because:

  • you will be starting work or increasing your hours, and
  • expect your new work or increased hours to last for 5 weeks or more, and
  • have had an entitlement to Jobseeker's Allowance (income-based or contribution-based), Income Support, Employment and Support Allowance, Incapacity Benefit or Severe Disability Allowance for a continuous period of 26 weeks or more.

Extended Housing Benefit payments are automatically calculated and issued to you if you are eligible. If you think you are not receiving the entitlements and should be, please contact us.

What will happen next?

  • If you are entitled to extended payments, we will award you 4 weeks Housing Benefit at the same rate you were entitled to before you started work.
  • At the end of the extended payment period, we will work out your claim based on your new circumstances.
You must notify us straight away of any other changes in your circumstances that could affect your Housing Benefit.

Benefit Cap

  • The cap is a limit on the total amount of benefit that people of working age can receive.
  • The council has no discretion whether or not to apply the cap.

Read more information on the Benefit Cap including who it does and does not affect.

Discretionary Housing Payments

Discretionary housing payments are a grant assistance scheme to help people who receive Housing Benefit payments cover the shortfall in their rent, on a short term basis.

  • To apply for discretionary housing payment, you must be receiving Housing Benefit or be in receipt of Universal Credit with a housing cost element
  • You can apply for discretionary housing payment by downloading and completing the discretionary housing payment form
  • Or you can get a form at any of our contact centres in DroitwichEvesham, and Pershore or contact us and we will send one out to you.
  • We aim to deal with your claim within 28 days.

View your existing claim

Login to your Self Serve account to view your claim.