From 15 May 2019, new claims for Housing Benefit are no longer accepted, unless you fall into one of the following exempt groups and have a low income:
- Where you and your partner are of State Pension age. Check if you're eligible.
- If you are claiming for temporary accommodation allocated by us. If you are unsure, please contact our benefits department.
- If you are claiming for supported accommodation. This includes hostels, refuges and property which include care, support or supervision. If you are unsure, please contact our benefits department.
If you do not fall into one of these categories, please apply for Universal Credit.
About Housing Benefit
Housing Benefit is a national welfare benefit administered by local councils. It is designed to help people on low incomes in rented accommodation.
How much you get will depend on your income and capital (money held in bank accounts, investments and properties held in your name), plus your partner's if you have one. It will also depend on who else lives with you and what their ages and incomes are.
You cannot apply for Housing Benefit if you:
- own your property
- are paying a mortgage
- are receiving housing costs in Universal Credit.
If you have applied to the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) for Universal Credit, and are liable to pay Council Tax at the property you live in, you will also need to apply to us, Woking Borough Council, for Council Tax support.
How we assess your claim
Each year the government gives us guideline figures showing the amount of money people should have to meet their basic needs. These figures vary depending on your circumstances.
How much can be awarded?
Every privately rented property has a Local Housing Allowance (LHA) rate.
The maximum amount of benefit you can get is 100% of the LHA rate, and you would normally get this amount if you were on Income Support, Jobseekers' Allowance (income based), Employment and Support Allowance (income related).
The amount of benefit may be reduced if there are other adults living in the household, for example non dependent children over the age of 18.
If your rent is more than the LHA rate for your property you cannot get Housing Benefit on the amount of rent higher than the LHA rate.
If you think you have good reason for a late claim, you can apply for a backdated claim of up to one calendar month. To do so, please make sure you complete the relevant section in the Housing Benefit application form.
Please note you will be asked to provide evidence to support your claim. For example, evidence of a hospital stay or mental incapacity.
Other help available
If you’re struggling to pay your Council Tax you may be eligible for Council Tax support.
A discretionary Local Assistance Scheme is also available to Surrey residents in need of emergency support. More information is available from Surrey County Council.