There are three ways to claim Housing Benefit:

The following two apply if you're also making a new claim for other benefits:

  • if you're claiming Income Support or Jobseeker's Allowance, Jobcentre Plus will complete a form with you and send it electronically to us
  • if you're claiming Pension Credit, fill in the HCTB1 form you get with your Pension Credit form and return it to us

You will also need to provide us with proof of:

  • your identity (see our identity checklist for the types of documents we accept)
  • your income
  • your savings

New Housing Benefit payments

We normally pay Housing Benefit from the Monday after we receive your claim form. If you delay returning your claim form, you could risk losing benefit.

In some cases, if you can provide full details and proof of your circumstances for the previous claim period, we can pay your Housing Benefit more promptly.

Contact us about your claim if:

  • you're of Pension Credit age - we're often able to pay your benefit for the three months before your claim date, but you must provide full details and proof of your circumstances for that period
  • you're of working age - we may be able to backdate your claim if we decide you have a good reason for a late claim; use Part 17 of your form to explain why you've not claimed earlier and the date from which you wish to claim

If you live with a partner, you should make one claim for both of you. It does not matter which of you claim, unless one of you is a student or has been continuously sick for 52 weeks or more (or 28 weeks or more if you are terminally ill).

Housing Benefit claim period

We sometimes pay Housing Benefit for a limited period.

In this case, you may have to re-apply for your benefit to continue - if you don't, your Housing Benefit payments will stop.

Also see

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