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When and how do I claim housing benefit?

When do I claim housing benefit? Claim housing benefit as soon as you think you need help with your rent.

Benefit is usually paid from the Monday after the date that you make a claim. We cannot normally backdate claims. If you know your circumstances are going to change - possibly your income will be going down or you will be taking on a new tenancy soon, you can claim up to 13 weeks before you need help. If you move home, it is important that you claim benefit within the first week of your tenancy starting.

How do I claim housing benefit?

You can claim housing benefit any time, in one of these ways:

1. When you claim either Income Support, ESA (IR), JSA (IB) or Pension Credit(Guarantee Credit), the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) will give you a housing benefit application form. You must complete it and return it to the DWP, who will then pass the form to us.

2. If you don't get Income Support, ESA (IR), JSA (IB) or Pension Credit(Guarantee Credit) you can apply on line. Whichever method you use, you must send the application in without delay, or you may lose some benefit.