Housing Benefit

If you have a change in circumstances such a wage increase or rent change you will need to provide us with evidence of the change. 

Provide Evidence

Universal Credit has replaced Housing Benefit and a range of other welfare benefits for most working age people. If you do not fall into any of the categories below and you need help to pay your rent you will need to claim Universal Credit.  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:

  • you live in specified accommodation; or
  • you are homeless and the council has placed you in temporary accommodation; or
  • you are entitled to a benefit with a severe disability premium, or have been in the last month and continue to be eligible; or
  • you and any partner have reached state pension age.  You can check whether this applies to you and your partner by clicking on the link to the state pension age calculator.
  • You are part of a couple, one of you has reached state pension age and you were claiming Housing Benefit or state pension credit (as a couple) before 15 May 2019.

If you do not fall into any of the categories above and you need help to pay your rent you will need to claim Universal Credit.  

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 
  • you are homeless and the council has placed you in temporary accommodation; or
  • are of pension age; or
  • you are entitled to a benefit with severe disability premium or have been in the last month and continue to be eligible. 

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 takes on average 15 days to process a new Housing Benefit claim. Claims can be processed quicker if the required evidence is supplied as soon as possible. 

How to appeal

If you disagree with a decision, you need to contact us using the general enquiry option below 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.

Submit a General Enquiry

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.

Report a change in circumstances

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.

Chief Executives Direction of Acceptance

 Click here to view the Direction Acceptance of electronic claims and changes of circumstances [PDF, 132KB]