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Thank you for contacting Guildford Borough Council. We'd love to hear your feedback and monitoring our service levels.

We'd be grateful if you could answer five quick questions on your recent enquiry.

Housing benefit, frequently asked questions

Find out more about housing benefit, including how to apply online.

From 1 February 2019, all working age claimants making a new claim, have to apply for Universal Credit to help with rental costs, instead of Housing Benefit.

You can still make a new claim for Housing Benefit if you fall into one of the following categories:

  • You live in supported or temporary accommodation

  • You and your partner have reached State Pension age

  • From 15 May 2019, mixed age couples (where one party of the couple is over State Pension Age and the other under that age) will no longer be able to choose whether they claim Universal Credit, Pension Credit or pension age Housing Benefit. They will need to claim Universal Credit.

    Both parties of a couple will have to reach the State Pension Age before they can be entitled to Pension Credit and/or pension age Housing Benefit.

    Protections are in force, which mean that where a mixed age couple are entitled to the following on the 14 May 2019, they will continue to be entitled unless a change of circumstance occurs, and one or both of the following cease:

    • Pension age Housing Benefit

    • Pension Credit, or

    • both

  • From 27 January 2021, no new Housing Benefit claims may be taken for claimants in receipt of Severe Disability Premium. They will need to claim Universal Credit.  Existing claimants who have remained on working age Housing Benefit because their award includes a Severe Disability Premium can remain on Housing Benefit until they have a change of circumstances which triggers a new claim to Universal Credit or there is a break in their Housing Benefit claim.

If you fall into one of the above categories, you can find out whether you qualify for housing benefits using the benefits calculator. If you think you might qualify, you can complete your claim using the online claim form.

Find out more information on housing benefit on the GOV.UK website.

Find out about Local Housing Allowance.

Please make sure you tell the Benefit department in writing of any change in circumstance that may affect your benefits.

Housing benefits - frequently asked questions

The following information relates to any new customers who fall into one of the categories detailed above.

faq icon 17039 What is housing benefit?

Housing Benefit is to help with rental costs for those on a low income.

faq icon 17044 Who can claim housing benefit?

Anyone who falls into one of the categories detailed earlier and has to pay rent can claim housing benefit. They may: have a partner or be single, be employed or self-employed, get other social security benefits. But, people with more than £16,000 in savings may not get housing benefit even if their income is low. Full-time students cannot claim housing benefit unless they are: pensioners, lone parents, disabled, getting Income Support, Job Seekers, Allowance Income Based - known as JSA (IB), Employment and Support Allowance Income Related - known as ESA (IR) or they have a partner and have dependant children, or are responsible for a child boarded out with them.

faq icon 18601 When and how do I claim housing benefit?

Claim housing benefit as soon as you think you need help with your rent. Read more >

faq icon 18600 How do we work out housing benefits?

To work out your benefit, we must compare the money you have coming in each week with the money the government says you need to live on. Read more >

faq icon 17051 What if I disagree with the way the council works out my benefit? Can I appeal?

What to do if you think the decision about your housing benefit or Local Council Tax Support is wrong. Read more >

faq icon 17046 How do we pay housing benefit?

Council Tenants get a rent rebate. This means the benefit awarded is paid direct to their rent account. If their benefit changes, the amount of rent they pay changes as well. Private Tenants and Housing Association Tenants get a rent allowance. We may pay this direct to them or send payment to their landlord every four weeks, via bank transfer. Changes in circumstances - while you get housing benefit, you must tell us straight away about any changes to the information you gave us on your application form, especially if you stop getting Income Support, ESA (IR) or JSA (IB). If you don't tell us straight away about any changes, you may get more benefit than you should. If this happens, we normally ask you to pay it back.

faq icon 17052 Will other adults living in my home affect my housing benefit?

Other adults are people aged 18 years or more who live in your home. They are usually grown-up children or other relatives living with you, but they could also be friends. Your partner (if you have one) is not treated as an 'other adult'. People living in your home and paying you rent, such as boarders or subtenants, do not usually count as other adults. Read more >

faq icon 17050 Can I claim benefit on two homes when moving?

Housing benefit is normally only paid on one home. However in certain cases it can be paid on two homes. Read more >

faq icon 17041 How is benefit fraud investigated?

The Government's Single Fraud Investigation Service is now responsible. Read more >

faq icon 17057 What is a Discretionary Housing Payment?

If you are in receipt of housing benefit and are struggling financially, you may be able to get some additional help. Read more >

faq icon 17054 What local bank information and proof of identification is required?

The table below gives general guidance only to 'basic bank accounts' that are currently available and should not be treated as a complete and authoritative guide to available accounts and acceptable identification. Read more >

faq icon 18602 What is Welfare Reform?

In 2013-14 there were several national and local welfare reform changes which may affect you now, or in the future. Read more >

faq icon 17042 Can I get any other financial help?

Local Council Tax Support is paid to people on low income who are liable for the council tax. Read more >

faq icon 17053 Can hostel residents apply for housing benefit?

Yes, you will need to complete the relevant form. Read more >