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How we work out your Housing Benefits

As part of the assessment process we calculate how much benefit you are eligible for.

We work out how much money to pay you by looking at:

  • income (for yourself and your partner.)
  • capital (for yourself and your partner.)
  • the applicable amount. This is the amount the government says you need to live on.
  • the income and capital of other adults in your household.
  • how much rent and council tax you have to pay each week.

If you rent your home from a private landlord, the Rent Service is responsible for setting the maximum level of rent on which we can pay your Housing Benefit.

We also consider:

  • whether you are single
  • whether you have children
  • whether you are over 60
  • whether you have a disability

If your weekly income is less than, or the same as, your applicable amount, we pay the maximum benefit, less amounts for any non-dependants.

If your weekly income is more than your applicable amount we take 65p off your maximum housing benefit and 20p off your maximum council tax reduction for each £1 your income is more than your applicable amount.

  • the minimum housing benefit payable is 50p per week.
  • there is no minimum council tax reduction.

When will my benefit start? 

It will normally start on the Monday following the receipt of your claim, although you can ask for your benefit to start from an earlier date. If you would like it to start from an earlier date then please complete our Benefits - Request to Backdate a Benefit Claim form.

What evidence is required to make a claim?

You must provide original documents to confirm your :

  • Name
  • Address
  • National Insurance Number

Applicable Amounts

Your applicable amount takes into account the size and age of your family, your age and any extra needs you may have.


Capital includes all savings and investments. If you have more than £16,000 then you will not be able to get housing benefit and if you have more than £10,000 you will not be able to get council tax reduction unless you or your partner receives a pension credit.


Income is any money that you or your partner receive. We also need to see income for other members of your household.


Calculating your Housing Benefit may depend on whether you are a Council, Housing Association or Private tenant.