New benefits claimants: if you want to make a new claim for Housing Benefit, you will have to claim Universal Credit instead. If you are claiming Universal Credit from 20th June 2018 your housing costs will be included in your payment.
Find more detailed information about eligibility on:
- our Universal Credit page
- the GOV.UK site
You will still need to claim Housing Benefit if you: live in temporary accommodation, receive benefit with the severe disability premium within the last month or are Pension Credit age.
Existing benefits claimants: From 20 June 2018, if you already claim Housing Benefit you will remain on this until you have a change of circumstances and you make a claim for Universal Credit.
If you need help paying your rent, you can claim Housing Benefit by completing a claim form which you can download, print, fill out and return the form to us straight away at London Borough of Islington, Benefits Service, PO Box 34750, London NF 9WF, or bring it to our Customer Centre.
- Email, phone us: 020 7527 4990
If you need help paying for council tax and you have claimed or are in receipt of Universal Credit you will need to claim Council Tax Support separately. Find more information about Council Tax Support.
People who are reaching pension age
If you are reaching state pension age you will no longer qualify for Universal Credit. You will need to make a new claim for Housing Benefit from the date that you reach state pension age. You will need to complete a claim form for Housing Benefit and send it to our benefits service as soon as possible.
Mixed age couples
From 15 May 2019, couples where one member of the couple is pension credit qualifying age and the other member is under pension age (they are working age) will now usually need to claim Universal Credit. Those already in receipt of Pension Credit or Housing Benefit on 14 May 2019 will remain entitled to those benefits.
You can still claim backdated Housing Benefit on or after 15 May 2019 if you are already pension age before this date. You must make your claim by 13 August 2019. Your claim date will be automatically backdated to a date before the change in rules.
Suspicions of benefit fraud can be reported anonymously in the following ways:
- By telephone to the National Benefit Fraud Hotline 0800 854 440
- the GOV.UK benefit fraud report it page
- By writing to NBFH, PO Box 224, Preston, PR1 1GP
How long does it take for a claim to be processed?
When we receive your claim form we will check the information and proof that you have provided.
You should hear from us about your claim within 10 working days of us receiving it.
If we have all the information we need to decide your claim we will be able to process your claim as quickly as possible and will write to you with the outcome.
If we need more information we will contact you and let you know what information we need. You will have one calendar month to provide us with any additional information that we request. You must tell us straight away if you cannot provide the information requested or if you are unable to provide the information by the date requested. The quicker that you provide the information asked for the quicker we will be able to process your claim.
If you do not provide the information or do not contact us to tell us that the information is not available or that there will be a delay, we will not be able to process your claim and we may decide that you do not qualify for benefit.
Can I get help with my rent even if I work?
Yes, even if you work, if you are on a low income you may still be able to get some help to pay your rent.
We will need to see proof of your earnings and capital. You will need to provide:
your last five pay slips if you are paid weekly
your last three pay slips if you are paid fortnightly
your last two pay slips if you are paid monthly
if you have only just started work and not yet been paid, your employer can complete an earnings form to give us the information we need. Please contact us to request this
your most recent bank statements (covering the last two months)
What is an extended payment and do I qualify for one?
An extended payment help people who have been unemployed for a long time, who find work by giving them an extra four weeks extra Housing Benefit or Council Tax Support. They are like an extended payment that you can get on Jobseekers Allowance or Employment Support and Allowance, sometimes you can receive both types of extended payments at the same time.
To qualify you must meet the following conditions:
you or any partner have started work or self-employment, or increased your hours and
this is expected to last at least five weeks and
you or your partner have been entitled to and been in receipt of Employment Support Allowance (income related), Jobseekers Allowance (income based), or Income Support continuously for at least 26 weeks (or any combination of those benefits in that period) and
immediately before starting the job, you were on Employment Support Allowance (income based), Jobseekers Allowance (income based) or Income Support and entitlement ceases as a result of starting the job
or you or your partner have been entitled to and in receipt of Employment Support Allowance (contribution based), Incapacity Benefit or Severe Disablement Allowance continuously for at least 26 weeks (or a combination of those benefits in that period) and
immediately before starting the job, you were on Employment Support Allowance (contribution based), Incapacity Benefit or Severe Disablement Allowance and entitlement ceases as a result of starting the job
What is the Benefit Cap?
The Benefit Cap is a limit on the total amount of certain benefits you can get if you're working age. The cap is:
£442.31 per week (£23,000 a year) if you’re in a couple, whether your children live with you or not
£442.31 per week (£23,000 a year) if you’re single and your children live with you
£296.35 per week (£15,410 a year) if you’re single and you don’t have children, or your children don’t live with you
Why do I no longer receive the Family Premium?
The family premium will not be included in the Housing Benefit applicable amount for new entitlements to Housing Benefit on or after 1 May 2016, or for any existing claimants who have a child or become responsible for a child (under 16) or young person (under 20) for the first time after 30 April 2016. It will also mean that if you have a current claim and you cease to have responsibility for a child but later become responsible again you will not be able to regain access to the family premium.