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Housing Benefit

Who is eligible for Housing Benefit?

For most working age customers who are making a new claim, or have a change in their circumstances, Housing Benefit payments was replaced by Universal Credit in this area from 27 April 2016. For working age customers who need help to pay their rent, housing costs need to be claimed via the GOV.UK Universal Credit (opens new window) service.

If you are of pension age and/or a couple that are both of pension age you may be entitled to Housing Benefit and will need to continue claiming using our Housing Benefit and Council Tax Support form.

How do I apply for Housing Benefit?

You can apply by completing our online Housing Benefit and Council Tax Support form.

We will need to see:

You should make your claim as soon as you need help paying your rent. We normally date a claim from the Monday after your first contact with us.

If you do not have all the evidence we have asked for, do not delay making an application. Apply now and send the evidence to us when you have it. The evidence must normally be supplied within one month of making the application. However, if you are unable to do this, you must contact us to give an estimate of when you will be able to supply the evidence.

How much Housing Benefit will I get?

In most cases you won't be able to get any Housing Benefit if you:

  • Have savings over £16,000 (unless you get Pension Credit Guarantee Credit)
  • Live in the home of a close relative
  • Are a full-time student (unless you are disabled or have children)
  • Live in accommodation provided by your employer as a condition of employment
  • Are an asylum seeker or sponsored to be in the UK

Use the Housing Benefit Calculator (opens new window) provided by 'Entitleto' to find out how much you will get.

If you rent privately the amount you can get will be limited by:

  • The Local Housing Allowance (LHA)
  • The Bedroom Standard
Great Yarmouth Local Housing Allowance Rates April 2024
AccommodationLHA Rate (per week)LHA Rate (per month)
1 bedroom - Shared Accommodation£86.61£376.34
1 bedroom - Self Contained Accommodation£101.51£441.09
2 bedrooms£132.33£575.01
3 bedrooms£144.99£630.02
4 bedrooms£189.86£824.99

You can find out how many bedrooms you are eligible for on (opens new window).

Can I view my Housing Benefit account online?

Yes, if you are a resident and have registered for OPENPortal.

What should I do if my circumstances change?

Use this form to let us know of any relevant changes to your circumstances. You should also check our information on temporary absence.

You must tell us if:

  • you move home
  • your rent changes
  • your landlord changes
  • anyone moves in or out of your home
  • you get married or change your name
  • anyone in your household has a change in their income
  • anyone in your household goes into hospital or prison
  • anyone in your household becomes a student, starts work or changes job
  • your savings change
  • there is any other change that may affect your benefit

You may be eligible for extended payments if you - or your partner - increase your work hours or earn more money. Extended payments bridge the gap until you are paid. 

To be eligible, you must have received one or more of the following continuously for at least 26 weeks:

  • Jobseeker's Allowance
  • Income Support or income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Incapacity Benefit
  • Severe Disablement Allowance
  • Contributory Employment and Support Allowance

We will let you know if you can get them when you inform us of your change in circumstances. Extended payments are paid in the same way as Housing Benefit and Council Tax Reduction.

Can my Housing Benefit be paid directly to my landlord?

If you want your Housing Benefit to be paid straight to your landlord you will need to complete our online form.

Can I backdate my Housing Benefit claim?

We normally pay Housing Benefit from the Monday after the day you make your claim. We rarely make backdated payments.

There are some reasons why we may make an exception and pay a backdated claim:

  • The death of a close relative
  • Being in hospital or seriously ill
  • Language difficulties
  • Being given wrong advice by a member of staff from the Borough Council, Department for Work and Pensions, Citizens Advice or a social worker

If you are completing a new application and require a backdated payment, please indicate this on your application form.

If you have already applied and require a backdated payment - and you feel your reasons meet the criteria - complete our backdated benefit application form.

Can I appeal the decision?

If you disagree with our decision on your Housing Benefit, you can:

  • Ask us to give you further explanation of our decision
  • Ask us to review the decision
  • Make an appeal against the decision

If you want to appeal you must do so within one calendar month of the date of the decision letter.

How do I report suspected benefit fraud?

If you think someone is committing benefit fraud, you can report this to the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).

Benefit fraud is a criminal offence that costs you money. Help us to stamp it out!

Ways to report benefit fraud

  • Call the National Benefit Fraud Hotline on 0800 854 4400 
    Your call is free and confidential and you do not have to give your name or address; lines are open Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm
    If you have speech or hearing problems you can use the text phone service on 0800 328 0512
  • Visit the GOV.UK National Benefit Fraud Hotline page
  • Write to:
    National Benefit Fraud Hotline
    Mail Handling Site A
    WV98 2BP

You can provide information anonymously, however if you do give your name this will be kept in the strictest confidence.

Types of benefit fraud

  • failure to declare work
  • non-disclosure of property, capital or income
  • non-disclosure of partner (living together as man and wife)
  • non-declaration of non-dependants or sub-tenants
  • false claims by homeowners
  • false address or failing to declare a change of address
  • landlord fraud
  • fictitious tenancies

Find out more about the National Fraud Initiative.

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