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Who can make a new claim for Housing Benefit

You can make a new claim for Housing Benefit if you fall into category 1 or 2 listed below:

If you are under 66 and you are on Housing Benefit (rather than Universal Credit), you will not have to move over to Universal Credit until you are instructed (by letter) to do so by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).

If you do not make an application for Universal Credit by the deadline, stipulated in the letter from the DWP, your Housing Benefit WILL STOP on the deadline regardless.

However, if something changes in your circumstances, you may need to make a claim for Universal Credit as a result, even if the DWP have not sent you a migration letter.

Pensioners are not able to claim Universal credit, so any help with rent for pensioners is given by way of Housing Benefit

If you are single you are classed as a pensioner once you have reached your 66th Birthday.

If you are part of a couple**, you are classed as a pensioner if you have both reached your 66th Birthday.

If you are part of a couple and only one of you have reached your 66th Birthday, in most cases this will mean that you are not classed as a pensioner.

**You are part of a couple if you live with your partner. A partner is someone you are married to or have a civil partnership with, or a person you live with as if you were their husband, wife or civil partner.

Tenants of certain types of Supported Accommodation will receive help with their rent from Housing Benefit, rather than Universal Credit, even if they receive Universal Credit for their other living costs.

This provision is restricted to accommodation which is classified as 'Specified Accommodation'

Specified Accommodation includes the following: -

  • Domestic violence refuges
  • Homeless Hostels (but not self-contained properties)
  • Properties owned by either Housing Associations, registered charities or voluntary organisations and you require and receive support in your home which is more than minimal.

In most cases, if you live in supported housing, your landlord should be able to tell you whether or not your home is classed as 'Specified Accommodation' or not.  Alternatively, you can ring the council directly for further advice or guidance on this matter.

However, as a general rule, the following categories of tenants do not fall under the definition of 'Specified Accommodation':

  • Tenants of sheltered accommodation for over 50s
  • Tenants who receive low levels of support or floating support which amounts to less than 2 – 3 hours per week.
  • Tenants who rent their property from a private landlord


Last Updated on Wednesday, March 20, 2024

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