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How do I claim?

Can I claim?

You can claim if you:

  • Pay rent to a private landlord or housing association
  • Pay Council Tax charges on your home.
  • Have savings of less than £16,000 (unless you receive the Guarantee Element of Pension Credit).

Please note South Ribble Borough Council is now a Full Service Universal Credit area.

If you are of working age you can only claim Housing Benefit if you are living in specified accommodation.

From 27 January 2021 applicants making a new claim for help with rent costs who are currently in receipt of the Severe Disability Premium or who have been entitled to a Severe Disability Premium in the previous month will now be able to claim Universal Credit and not Housing Benefit.

From 15 May 2019, mixed age couples (where one party of a couple is over Pension Credit qualifying age and the other under that age) will no longer be able to claim pension age Housing Benefit, they must claim Universal Credit instead. Both parties of a couple will have to reach the Pension Credit qualifying age to claim Housing Benefit.

Where a mixed age couple were entitled to pension age Housing Benefit on 14 May 2019, they will continue to be entitled on or after 15 May 2019.

Single claimants who have reached pension age can continue to claim Housing Benefit.

Special rules apply to some people who claim Housing Benefit and/or Council Tax Support. For example:

  • Students
  • People subject to immigration control
  • People in hospital
  • Prisoners
  • People in residential care and nursing homes
  • Young people, aged 16 - 17
  • People who maintain two homes

When can I claim?

If you are considering making a claim for Housing Benefit and/or Council Tax Support then this should be done as soon as possible.

Any entitlement will normally commence from the date you contact us to request a home visit or an application form, or the date you submit your form (whichever is earlier), but this can be backdated in exceptional circumstances.

We can backdate for up to one month for those aged under 60, but good cause has to be shown for the whole period of the delay. Any claims that were made prior to 01 April 2016 could be backdated for a maximum of six months.

Some examples of what might be considered to be 'good cause' are:

  • If you were ill and had nobody to make the claim on your behalf
  • If you did not understand that you could claim for reasons such as age or language difficulties, or some other reason
  • If you were wrongly advised or told you could not claim
  • If you are unable to manage your affairs

If you have reaches state pension credit age we will automatically look at backdating for a maximum of three months. You do not need to ask for this. You must provide all information and evidence for that period or we will not be able to pay you.

We can pay Housing Benefit before you move into your home for four weeks if:

  • You make a claim for Housing Benefit before moving in or tell us about your move within one month of moving if you are already getting benefit; and
  • You had to pay rent for your new home; and
  • The move was delayed while necessary adaptations were made to the new home to meet the disabled needs of you or a member of your household; or
  • The move was delayed pending the outcome of a social fund loan need for your home; and
  • Your household includes a child aged five years or less, or a pensioner or you, your partner or your child get a disability benefit such as Disability Living Allowance, Long Term Incapacity Benefit, Employment and Support Allowance any Component or are registered blind; and
  • You do not have to pay rent for another home; or
  • You were a patient in residential care/hospital or a nursing home when you started having to pay rent and do not have to pay rent at another home.

We can pay Housing Benefit on two homes for a maximum of four weeks if:

  • You move into your new property and
  • You tell us within one month of you moving into your new home and
  • You have to pay rent at your new and old home and
  • The overlap in liabilities is reasonable, for example you had to give four weeks' notice at your previous home or
  • The move was delayed while necessary adaptations were made to the new home to meet the disabled needs of you or a member of your household

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