Housing Benefit

You may be able to get help with your rent if you are on other benefits, work part-time or work full-time on a low income. You cannot get Housing Benefit to help with the costs of a mortgage or home loan. If you are an owner-occupier, you may be able to get help with your mortgage interest through Universal Credit, Income Support, income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance or Pension Credit. If you are eligible to claim Universal Credit, you will get help with your rent included in your monthly Universal Credit payment therefore you will be unable to claim Housing Benefit. HB and the UC rent element will be based on the Local Housing Allowance rates.

How is Local Housing Allowance worked out?

This is based on the number of bedrooms your household needs, not necessarily the number of bedrooms you have. This is sometimes called the size criteria.

The Government allows a set rate of LHA based on number of bedrooms. One bedroom allowed each for:

  • every adult couple (married or unmarried)
  • any other adult over 16yrs (eg a single adult)
  • any two children of the same sex, under the age of 16yrs
  • any two children of either sex,under 10 yrs
  • any other child
  • A non-resident carer (from April 2011)

Example:- a couple who live in a three-bed roomed house with two children of the opposite sex, but both children under the age of 10yrs, would be assessed as needing two bedrooms and would therefore have their future LHA based on the rate for a two-bed roomed house.

In the above example, when the elder child reaches 10yrs the LHA rate would increase to the three-bedroom rate. This is because a bedroom would now be allowed for each child.

What's the next step?

Once the number of bedrooms you need is worked out, the next step is to look up the Local Housing Allowance rate for the area that you live. The Valuation Office Agency has reviewed all areas of the U.K, containing privately rented accommodation and has set these areas depending on their access to services, transport, schools etc. These will be known as Broad Rental Market Areas (BRMA)

Bassetlaw will fall into three Broad market Rental Areas, they are:

  • Mansfield, Worksop and Retford (North Notts)
  • Doncaster
  • Newark & Grantham

Each area will have a weekly LHA rate set by the Valuation Office Agency and these will be published these pages so that you can check how much your Benefit will be based on.

CategoryDescriptionNorth NottsDoncasterNewark & Grantham
A Shared or under 35 years £58.41 £55.12 £59.04
B 1 bedroom £72.72 £78.08 £75.78
C 2 bedrooms £92.98 £93.23 £99.06
D 3 bedrooms £103.56 £103.56 £110.72
E 4 bedrooms £145.43 £143.84 £156.00

Important changes

The Government is making further changes to the benefits system which could affect your entitlement to claim Housing Benefit (also called Local Housing Allowance, for tenants renting from a landlord in the private sector).

Universal credit is being introduced in the Bassetlaw area. This will replace income support, income-based jobseekers allowance, income-based employment support allowance, child tax credit, working tax credit and housing benefit. If your circumstances change and you are thinking of claiming Housing Benefit, please check first to see if you should now be claiming universal credit instead.

Visit https://universalcreditinfo.net/ and enter your postcode to see whether you can claim universal credit.

When will this affect me?

If you are making a new claim to Housing Benefit or have a relevant change of circumstances, the changes will affect you from the date of your new or revised entitlement. universal credit is claimed online at https://www.gov.uk/universal-credit/how-to-claim.

What do I need to make a claim?

  • Email address
  • Mobile Phone
  • Identity Check – through Gov.uk Verify
  • Tenancy agreement – Do you have an up to date one?
  • A Bank Account in your name

Where to go for more information

If you need help with making an on-line claim for either Housing Benefit or Universal Credit, or do not have access to the internet, you can get assistance from the Council at Queens Buildings, Worksop or 17b The Square Retford.

You can also claim Universal Credit or get advice about it by phoning the DWP Universal Credit helpline  0800 328 5644.

Want more information about what you can claim? Visit: https://www.gov.uk/benefits-calculators

If you have checked your postcode and are not eligible to claim Universal Credit from the DWP, then you can still make a claim for Housing Benefit.

You can still make a claim for help with your Council Tax, from the Council, even if you get Universal Credit. You can do this on the form when you make a claim for Housing Benefit.