What is housing benefit?

Housing benefit is financial help that is provided to individuals by the government, people who are eligible for housing benefit are usually on a low income, may be working or may be unemployed and they are likely to require help in paying rant on a house. There is a particular criteria that stipulates who is eligible and who is not.

People are eligible for housing benefit if they pay rent and their income and capital are below a certain level; this may mean some people qualify if they are out of work, in work and earning a wage.

In most cases housing benefit will not be paid if an individual has saving that are in excess of 16000, although this may change if a guarantee credit of pension credit is held. People also do not qualify for housing benefit if they live in a home of a close relative. Students are not eligible for housing benefit although this may be different if they are disabled or if they have children. An asylum seeker that is within the UK does not usually qualify for housing benefit and individuals who are sponsored to be within the UK are also not able to claim housing benefit.

If somebody lives with their partner or a civil partner only one person within the household can claim housing benefit. In cases where somebody is under 25 and single, housing benefit can only be claimed for bed sit accommodation or one room that is within a shared accommodation.

There are different criteria that must be met in relation to what rent will be regarded as eligible for support of housing benefit. Eligible rent includes rent for the accommodation and charges that are made for some services such as lifts, communal laundry facilities and play areas.

Housing benefit is provided by the government although in certain cases payments will not be made to support certain things. For example even if the rent includes the charges for some bills, housing benefit will not be paid. This includes water charges, charges for heating, hot water, lighting or cooking and payments for food or fuel in board and lodgings or hostels.

The local council within the claimants area will assess whether an individual is eligible for housing benefit. The council will look at money that is coming into a household, this includes what a partner or civil partner ears; this includes benefits, tax credits and occupational pensions. The amount of savings that someone has are also checked by the council. Other factors that will be assessed include the age of claimants, the size and ages of a family, whether any of the family are disabled and whether anyone else within the household can help with paying the rent.