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The following systems will be unavailable from 2.00pm on Thursday 29 February until 7.30am on Tuesday 5 March: our online Council Tax, business rates and housing benefit services, and our welfare assistance form. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.

If you're of working age and think you may be eligible for help with your rent, you must apply for Universal Credit instead of Housing Benefit. Please note that the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) is responsible for Universal Credit.

Make a Housing Benefit claim

For most people of working age, Universal Credit has replaced Housing Benefit. Find out who is eligible to claim Housing Benefit, and how to make a claim.

Who can claim Housing Benefit

You are eligible to claim Housing Benefit if:

  • you, and your partner (if you have one) have reached state pension age
  • you live in supported accommodation (any age)

You cannot claim Housing Benefit if:

  • you own your home and have a mortgage
  • you rent your home from a close relative who lives in the same house
  • you, and your partner (if you have one) have savings or investments of over £16,000 (unless you get Guaranteed Pension Credit)

How to make a claim

Step 1: make a claim 

Use our Benefit claim form and calculator to claim online.

Alternatively you can claim by:

Step 2: provide documents as evidence to support your claim

When you make your claim, you will be advised what documents we need to see. Provide these documents as soon as possible to avoid delays, and within a month to ensure we can calculate your claim. You can submit your documents in the following ways:

Transactional and Customer Services
PO Box 238
County Durham

Please don't send valuable items. For more information about the documents we accept, see what information you should provide.

Step 3: your claim is processed 

Once we have received all supporting documents, we will process your claim. We will write to you to confirm your benefit entitlement, telling you how much you will receive and how we reached that decision. We will then make arrangements to pay your benefit - see How is Housing Benefit paid? for more information.

How we calculate your Housing Benefit

The amount you get depends on your household circumstances. This includes the following:

Appeal against a Housing Benefit decision

If you disagree with a decision we make about your Housing Benefit claim, you can ask us to look at the decision again.