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Housing Benefit

Find out about Housing Benefit which can help you pay your rent.

Universal Credit

New benefits claimants: if you want to make a new claim for Housing Benefit, you will have to claim Universal Credit instead. If you are claiming Universal Credit from 20th June 2018 your housing costs will be included in your payment. 

Find more detailed information about eligibility on:

You will still need to claim Housing Benefit if you:

  • live in temporary accommodation
  • live in supported accommodation
  • are of Pension Credit age.

Visit GOV.UK for more information about who can claim and how much you may get.

From 20 June 2018, if you already claim Housing Benefit you will still get this until you have a change of circumstances and you make a claim for Universal Credit.

If you need help paying your rent, you can claim Housing Benefit by completing a claim form which you can download, print, fill out and return the form to us straight away at London Borough of Islington, Benefits Service, PO Box 34750, London N7 9WF, or bring it to our Customer Centre.

Housing Benefit and Council Tax Support form

If you need help paying for council tax and you have claimed or are in receipt of Universal Credit you will need to claim Council Tax support separately. Find more information about Council Tax support.

People who are reaching pension age

If you are reaching state pension age you will no longer qualify for Universal Credit. You will need to make a new claim for Housing Benefit from the date that you reach state pension age. You will need to complete a claim form for Housing Benefit and send it to our benefits service as soon as possible.

Mixed age couples

From 15 May 2019, couples where one member of the couple is pension credit qualifying age and the other member is under pension age (they are working age) will now usually need to claim Universal Credit. Those already in receipt of Pension Credit or Housing Benefit on 14 May 2019 will remain entitled to those benefits.

You can still claim backdated Housing Benefit on or after 15 May 2019 if you are already pension age before this date. You must make your claim by 13 August 2019. Your claim date will be automatically backdated to a date before the change in rules.

Benefit fraud

If you think someone is committing benefit fraud, you can report it without giving your details.

How long it takes to claim

When we receive your claim form we will check the information and proof that you have provided. You should hear from us about your claim within 10 working days of us receiving it.

If we have all the information we need to decide your claim we will be able to process your claim as quickly as possible and will write to you with the outcome. If we need more information we will contact you and let you know what information we need.

You will have one calendar month to provide us with any extra information we've asked for. You must tell us straight away if you cannot give us the information or won't be able to by the date requested. The quicker you get the information to us, the faster we can process your claim.

If you do not provide the information or do not contact us to tell us that the information is not available or that there will be a delay, we will not be able to process your claim and we may decide that you do not qualify for benefits.

Help if you are working

If you are working and on a low income you may still be able to get some help to pay your rent.

We will need to see proof of your earnings and capital. You will need to provide:

  • your last five pay slips if you are paid weekly
  • your last three pay slips if you are paid fortnightly
  • your last two pay slips if you are paid monthly 
  • your most recent bank statements (covering the last two months)

If you have only just started work and haven't been paid yet, your employer can complete an earnings form to give us the information we need. Contact us about this.

Extended payments and how to get one

If you have been unemployed for a long time and have just found work, you might be able to get an extra four weeks Housing Benefit or Council Tax Support.

They are like an extended payment that you can get on Jobseekers Allowance or Employment Support and Allowance. Sometimes you can get both types of extended payments at the same time.

To qualify:

  • you or your partner must have have started work or self-employment, or increased your hours, and expect this to last at least five weeks and either:
    • you or your partner has been entitled to have been getting Employment Support Allowance (income-related), Jobseekers Allowance (income-based), or Income Support for at least 26 weeks without a break (or any combination of those benefits in that period) just before starting the job and this will stop because you've started this job or
    • you or your partner has been entitled to and have been getting Employment Support Allowance (contribution-based), Incapacity Benefit or Severe Disablement Allowance for at least 26 weeks without a break (or a combination of those benefits in that period) just before before starting the job and this will stop because you've started this job.

Benefit Cap

The Benefit Cap is a limit on the total amount of certain benefits you can get if you're of working age. The cap is:

  • £442.31 per week (£23,000 a year) if you’re in a couple, whether your children live with you or not

  • £442.31 per week (£23,000 a year) if you’re single and your children live with you

  • £296.35 per week (£15,410 a year) if you’re single and you don’t have children, or your children don’t live with you.

Read more information on GOV.UK. 

Family premium

The family premium will not be included in the Housing Benefit applicable amount for new entitlements to Housing Benefit on or after 1 May 2016, or for any existing claimants who have a child or become responsible for a child (under 16) or young person (under 20) for the first time after 30 April 2016.

It will also mean that if you have a current claim and you cease to have responsibility for a child but later become responsible again you will not be able to regain access to the family premium.

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Data protection: We will handle your personal information in line with the Data Protection Act 1998 and in accordance with the council’s Fair Processing Notice.