What is Housing Benefit?

Housing Benefit helps you to pay a part of, or all of, your rent if you are unemployed, on a low income or claiming welfare benefits. The amount of Housing Benefit you get depends on your circumstances and there is certain criteria below in order for you to qualify regardless of income.

You can use our benefits calculator to work out how much benefit you may be entitled to.

Council Tax Reduction

If you are not entitled to Housing Benefit and you are claiming the housing element of Universal Credit, you may be entitled to Council Tax Reduction.


You can only make a new application for Housing Benefit if one of the following is true:

  • You have reached State Pension age. If you are a couple you must both be of State Pension age. If you are a couple and one of you is of Working Age then you would be classed as a Mixed Age Couple and will need to claim Universal Credit
  • You live in temporary accommodation
  • Your landlord is a registered social landlord or voluntary organisation and you are in need, and in receipt, of care support or supervision

If none of the above criteria apply to you, you will need to claim Universal Credit instead.

All postcodes in Herefordshire are now subject to Universal Credit.

Who isn't entitled to Housing Benefit?

You will not be entitled to Housing Benefit if you are:

  • A full-time student
  • A close relative of your landlord and live with your landlord
  • A Crown Tenant. You are usually a crown tenant when your landlord is a government department. Currently most service personnel living in Ministry of Defence (MoD) accommodation are crown tenants.
  • Temporarily absent from your home
  • An asylum seeker or sponsored to be in the UK
  • Subject to immigration control and your granted leave states that you cannot claim public funds
  • Residing in the UK as a European Economic Area jobseeker
  • You have lived outside the UK in the last two years
  • You are an EU national who became a resident in the UK before 1 January 2021, but you have not applied for settled or pre-settled status under the European Union Settlement Scheme (EUSS) on or before 30 June 2021.

or if you:

  • Have capital exceeding £16,000 (unless you receive Guaranteed Credit)
  • Pay rent to an ex-partner
  • Are paying a mortgage on your own home
  • Are already claiming Universal Credit (unless you’re in temporary or supported housing)
  • Live in a registered nursing or care home
  • Your partner is claiming Housing Benefit

If you think you may be entitled based on the above criteria, you can make an application using our online claim form:

Apply for Housing Benefit

Changes in circumstances

Any changes in your circumstances may affect how much Housing Benefit you receive. It is important that you tell us of any changes immediately so your award can be adjusted if necessary. If you do not notify us of your changes, then you may be overpaid and this will need to be paid back.

For more information, see How your circumstances affect your Housing Benefit award

If you have had a change in circumstances please complete our online form to let us know.

Report a change in your circumstances

Find out about appeals, backdating and overpayments