Help with housing benefits
Benefits Advisor with Shaun Clayton…
We’ve had a lot of calls recently about housing benefit, and what you are entitled to when you have a diagnosis of PH.
If you are on a low income, perhaps because of having to give up work or work reduced hours, then housing benefit can help you with rent and some service charges. You can claim housing benefit whether you are working or not.
To claim housing benefit, you must make rental payments to a landlord. Your landlord can be a private landlord, or a social landlord, such as a local authority or housing association.
You cannot get housing benefit to help you with the costs of a mortgage. If you own your home, you may be able to get help with your mortgage interest if you are getting Income Support, income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) or Pension Credit.
How much can I claim?
The amount of housing benefit you will be paid depends on various factors, including the amount of rent you pay, the people who live with you in your household, and the amount
of any other earnings and / or benefits that you receive.
It may be restricted by the local housing allowance rate in your area if you are a private tenant, and if you are a social tenant, it could be restricted by the number of bedrooms you have (sometimes known as ‘bedroom tax’).
It’s important you notify the local authority of any changes to the circumstances in your household as soon as you can, so that your payments can be adjusted. Otherwise, you may have overpaid, which you’ll then need to pay back later.
How do I claim?
You can claim housing benefit from your local authority. You should be able to find contact details of your local authority housing benefit department from the internet, council offices or local libraries.
Council tax reduction
Council tax reduction (also known as CTR) is a rebate that can reduce your council tax bill and is for households on a low income, whether you are in or out of work. You can claim it at the same time as housing benefit.
Each local authority has its own CTR scheme so you should check with yours for the exact rules in your area. Contact details can usually be found on the back of your council tax bill.
If you think you are entitled to claim either housing benefit or council tax reduction, it is important that you make your claim as soon as possible, otherwise you may lose out on payments.
If your claim is turned down, or you do not agree with how much you are being paid, you can make an appeal against the decision by writing to your local authority.
- Thank you to Turn2Us for providing some of the information. To find out what benefits you may be entitled to, you can use their benefits calculator by visiting www.turn2us.org.uk