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Housing and Other Benefits

​​a semi detached houseThere are various benefits available to help you pay your rent:

Universal Credit (UC)

Universal Credit provides one payment each month which includes living expenses and housing costs.  Find out more about UC here.​

Housing Benefit

Housing Benefit​ is paid by WBC to help with rent if you are on a low income. It is currently​ being replaced by UC.

View Your Housing Benefit Online

Did you know that our you can set up an online account with WBC to view your Housing Benefit and Council Tax Support?  You will be able to see:
  • your claim details – the people in your household and the income and capital we are currently using to assess your claim
  • your notification letters
  • details of payments you have received
  • details of any overpayments you may have had
  • your next benefit payment and any deductions that are going to be made
  • if you have reported a change, whether we have dealt with it 

Changes to Housing Benefit from April 2016

From April 2016 if you ask for a Housing Benefit payment to be “backdated” this can only be allowed for up to one calendar month from the date you ask for it. A backdate is when you haven’t claimed in time and you want the Housing Benefit office to pay your Housing benefit from an earlier date. If you are under “Pension Credit age” you have to show that you had a very good reason for not claiming/ providing the information earlier. 

Another change – from 28 July 2016 will affect you if go abroad for longer than 4 weeks; you won’t get any Housing Benefit while you are away. There are exceptions – there is a 26-week limit for certain people who are abroad due to a particular tpe of work as listed in the regulations (e.g.​ armed forces, mariners), some people fleeing domestic violence or if you are in hospital or undergoing medical treatment abroad. The time limit of 4 weeks can be extended by up to a further 4 weeks if you are abroad due to the death of a close relative and the Housing Benefit Office considers it unreasonable to expect you to return within 4 weeks. If you go to Northern Ireland, this counts as abroad under the new rules; they affect anyone away from Great Britain. When you go abroad you must intend to return within the 4 (or 8 or 26) weeks and actually be back home within that time period to be able to receive Housing Benefit for the period you are away.  

If someone who normally lives with you is going to be staying in the property they might be able to claim Housing Benefit instead – contact us for advice.

Discretionary Housing Payments 

If you have a shortfall between your rent and the amount of Housing Benefit or Universal Credit you receive and this is causing you financial hardship, you may be able to get some extra financial help from WBC by applying for a Discretionary Housing Payment​.

Help and support: