Housing Benefit

Universal Credit has been introduced in Plymouth and has replaced Housing Benefit and a range of other welfare benefits for most working age people. If you are working age and do not fall into any of the categories below you will need to claim Universal Credit for help with any housing costs.  Before applying for Housing Benefit please read all of the information on this page. 

For help with your Council Tax you will still need to claim Council Tax Support from the council.

You should only apply for Housing Benefit if you:

  • live in specified accommodation; or
  • have three or more children in your household and are not already claiming Universal Credit; or
  • have reached pension age, you can check whether this applies to you by clicking on the link to the state pension age calculator; or
  • from 11 April 2018, you are homeless and the council has placed you in temporary accommodation.

If you do not fall into any of the categories above you will need to claim Universal Credit for help with your rent.   If you need help to pay your Council Tax you will still need to claim Council Tax Support from the council.

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)

Click the button below to find out if you should apply for Universal Credit instead. If after entering your postcode you are asked to sign in or register, this means you need to apply for Universal Credit.

Check whether you should claim Universal Credit

How much you can claim

Use our benefit calculator to find out how much you can claim.

You should only apply for Housing Benefit if you:

  • live in specified accommodation or
  • have three or more children in your household and are not already claiming Universal Credit
  • are of pension age

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)

Calculate your Housing Benefit

How to apply

Use our online form 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.

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.

Please ensure you have checked whether you need to apply for Universal Credit before applying for Housing Benefit. Making a claim for the wrong benefit will delay your claim or result in the claim being refused.

Apply for Housing Benefit

It is currently taking on average 22 days to process a new Housing Benefit claim

How to appeal

If you disagree with a decision you need to email us at revenues@plymouth.gov.uk or 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. You can ask for a letter explaining our decision, for 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!

View your account on Self Service

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.

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.

Download 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.

Download Certificate of gross earnings form [PDF, 31KB]

Return completed forms to Revenues and Benefits, Plymouth City Council, PO Box 293, Plymouth, PL5 9BZ.