Before You Move In

What is Housing Benefit?

Housing Benefit is a national scheme to help people on a low income pay their rent. The amount is worked out by the Council using figures supplied by the government.

How do I claim?

To claim help with the rent you must complete a claim form and return it to us. You only need to complete one form if you are married or live with someone as a partner.

From what date will my Housing Benefit be paid?

Housing Benefit is normally paid from the Monday following the date we receive your completed application form. If you form is received on a Monday your benefit will usually start from the following Monday.

Can I claim Housing Benefit for a property that I have not yet moved into?

Housing Benefit is normally only paid for the address at which you live. In certain circumstances, the government allows the Council to pay Housing Benefit prior to the date you move in. The maximum period we can pay Housing Benefit, prior to moving in, is 28 days. This rule does not allow Housing Benefit to be paid where you are already paying rent at another address.

In what circumstances will Housing Benefit be paid before I move in?

  • you have moved in; and
  • you are liable to pay rent before moving in; and
  • the delay in moving in was reasonable; and
  • the delay was needed in order to adapt the property for the disablement needs of a person in your family; or
  • the move was delayed pending a Social Fund decision and a member of your family is aged less than 6 or if you receive a disability premium or age related premium; or
  • you became liable to pay rent while in hospital or in residential accommodation

If you do not meet these conditions we will not pay you Housing Benefit before you move in. This means you will have to pay the rent for this period.

What happens if I am refused?

If your request is turned down we will tell you why in writing. The letter will also tell you about your appeal rights.

Will my Housing Benefit still be assessed from the date I moved in?

Yes, we will assess your claim from the Monday following the date you actually move in. We will write to you telling the date we have assessed your claim from, the amount you are entitled to and how it was calculated.

What if I disagree with the decision?

If you disagree with the decision you can ask for a further explanation or appeal. All requests for an explanation or to appeal must be in writing, and be received by this office within one calendar month from the date of decision. If you need independent help of advice with an appeal you should contact the Citizens Advice Bureau or Welfare Rights Unit.