Housing Benefit is a means tested benefit for people on a low income to help them pay their rent (payments you make to live in your home). You may be able to get Housing Benefit if you're on other benefits, work part-time, work full-time or are on a low income.
Usually you won't get Housing Benefit if:
- you rent your home from a close relative who lives in the same house
- you own the property you're claiming benefit for (or have a mortgage on that property)
- you and any partner have joint savings or investments of more than £16,000
- you're a foreign national subject to immigration control
- you're receiving or are able to claim Universal Credit (includes an amount for housing costs)
Universal Credit (UC) has been introduced in Plymouth and has replaced Housing Benefit (HB) and a range of other welfare benefits for most working age people. Whether you apply for Housing Benefit or Universal Credit for help with your housing costs depends on your personal circumstances.
If you are working age and need to make a new claim for help towards your rent you need to apply for Universal Credit.
- live in supported accommodation or
- have three or more children in your household and are not already claiming Universal Credit
you should apply for Housing Benefit
People of pension age are not affected and can still apply for Housing Benefit.
If you are on either Universal Credit or Housing Benefit and need help with your council tax, you can make a claim for Council Tax support from us.
How much you can claim
Use our benefit calculator to find out how much you can claim.
How to apply
Use our online form below to apply for Housing Benefit, you can apply whether you're unemployed or working. It helps pay for rent and some service charges. It doesn't help with water, care, heating, food or mortgage payments.
Any required evidence will be listed at the end of the form
It is currently taking on average 21 days to process a new Housing Benefit claim
If you live in one of the following postcodes you should apply for Universal Credit instead of Housing Benefit by clicking here . If you have more than two children living with you, or if you live in specified accommodation (e.g. a refuge or hostel) you can apply for Housing Benefit regardless of where you live in Plymouth.
How we make our decision
The amount of Housing Benefit you can get is based on:
- your household income, including any benefits and pensions
- savings and investments over £6,000 for those of working age and £10,000 for those of pension age (you can't get Housing Benefit if you've savings of £16,000 or more unless you're a pensioner and receive the guarantee credit part of Pension Credit)
- your circumstances, for example the ages of people in your household and if someone has a disability
- the amount of rent you pay
- if you're a housing association tenant under pension age how much you get also depends on whether you've spare bedrooms
- if you rent from a private landlord how much you get depends on the local housing allowance rate which may be lower than your actual rent
Please tell us if your circumstances change, in writing, within one month so we can look at our decision and see whether your payment needs to be changed.
How to appeal
If you disagree with a decision you need to write to us at Revenues and Benefits, Plymouth City Council, PO Box 293, Plymouth PL5 9BZ within one month of the date of the decision letter and ask either for a letter explaining our decision, us to look at our decision again or for an independent appeals tribunal to look at the decision.
View your Housing Benefit online
Use Self Service to view your Housing Benefit payments online. It's free and available 24 hours a day!
Once you've registered you'll be able to view any payments made to you, see how your payment has been calculated and view documents we've sent to you. Please have your entitlement letter and national insurance number ready.
Problems with your account
Use our online form to report a problem with your Self Service account. This includes logging into your account or any security or technical issues you find.
Changes to your circumstances
See our changes to your circumstances affecting benefits page to report any changes. Please tell us as soon as possible, as the change may mean that you're eligible for more Housing Benefit.
Proof of rent
If you can't prove the rent you pay by supplying your tenancy agreement or rent card, your landlord will need to complete the landlords rent proof form.
Rent proof form [PDF, 140KB]
If you're employed but can't prove how much you are paid by supplying the required number of wage slips, your employer will need to complete the employer's certificate of gross earnings form.
Certificate of gross earnings form [PDF, 31KB]
Return completed forms to Revenues and Benefits, Plymouth City Council, PO Box 293, Plymouth, PL5 9BZ.