Housing Benefit: Everything you need to know about the DWP support

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Housing costs can often stack up and prove a burden for some, who will need as much support as possible. In this sense, Housing Benefit can provide the appropriate relief for those who are eligible to make a claim. When thinking about eligibility, there are a number of issues to bear in mind.

A new claim can be actioned if any of the following apply:

  • A person has reached State Pension age
  • A person is in supported, sheltered or temporary housing
  • A person is receiving the severe disability premium or is entitled to it
  • A person previously received the severe disability premium in the last month and is still eligible for it

While Housing Benefit is being replaced by Universal Credit, this is happening in a phasing process, which means many could still be entitled to the former sum.

The amount of Housing Benefit a person receives, however, will vary from individual to individual.

This is because there is no set amount, and what Britons receive depends on if they rent privately or from a council.

In addition, people will either get help with part of, or all, their rent from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).

For those paying rent for council or social housing, how much they receive will depend on a number of components, including household income and circumstances.

But perhaps the most important factor to consider is eligible rent – which is a person’s actual rent plus any services charges they are required to pay.

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It is this sum used by the DWP to calculate a Housing Benefit claim.

Rules slightly differ, however, for people who are renting privately, which is worth bearing in mind.

The eligible rent amount for these individuals is either their Local Housing allowance rate, or actual rent, whichever is the lowest amount.

The amount people can receive is dependent on this, as well as income and circumstances.

It is worth noting the benefit cap does apply to Housing Benefit.

This means those who are affected will see their Housing Benefit go down to ensure they do not receive more than the cap level.

For people eligible to receive Housing Benefit, it is also important to note how individuals will be paid.

This is dependent on the type of tenant a person is – whether private or council renting.

Private or housing association tenants receive their Housing Benefit sum directly into their bank or building society account.

Conversely, council tenants will have the benefit paid into their rent account, and will not receive the money directly.

To apply for Housing Benefit, people can either contact their local council, or add a claim to their Pension Credit claim.

However, people will need to provide evidence to support their Housing Benefit claim.

This will help people to get the money to which they are entitled faster if they make such details available.

People will need to know how much rent they pay, as well as any service charges, and landlord or agent’s details.

In addition, they will need to provide original documents such as recent payslips, bank or building society statements, and proof of income or investments.

Finally, Britons will need to hand over two forms of identification, for example a UK photo card driving licence or a current passport.

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