Whether you rent privately or from your local council or housing association, you may be eligible for housing benefit. The amount you receive depends on:
- your income
- your savings are below a certain level (usually £16,000 unless you receive Pension Credit)
- your individual circumstances.
You can apply for housing benefit whether you're unemployed or working. Contact your local council to apply for housing benefits.
Universal Credit is being phased in across the UK and will replace six existing benefits including housing benefit. At present, it only affects newly unemployed people who are making new claims in some areas.
The Money Advice Service has more information about Universal Credit on its website.
Help to keep your home warm
You can get the tax-free Winter Fuel Payment if you are over a certain age. It is not means-tested.
If you are getting certain benefits and the temperature in your area is recorded – or forecast to be – zero degrees Celsius or below for seven consecutive days between November 1 and March 31, you might be eligible for a Cold Weather Payment.
If you are on a low income or certain benefits, you may be able to get help with your electricity bill under the Warm Home Discount Scheme (you can apply for the discount if you are on a pre-paid meter).
Visit www.gov.uk for the latest on housing benefits and Universal Credit, who is eligible and how to apply.
Disability Rights UK also provides useful information about all benefits.
Entitledto.co.uk is a useful online benefits calculator to help you check how much you might receive (N.B. It should not be used to calculate benefits for permanent residents of residential care or nursing homes).