Making a claim for Housing Benefit

Qualifying for Housing Benefit

You may qualify for Housing Benefit if you:

  • live in Northern Ireland
  • are on a low income or claim benefits
  • have housing costs (rent and/or rates) for a property you live in as your main home

You may have to apply for Universal Credit if you need help with your housing costs.

Completing a claim for Housing Benefit

The easiest way to complete a claim for Housing Benefit is online.

Please read Completing the form before you make the claim.

Click the button below to start your claim.

Claim Housing Benefit Online

Other ways to claim Housing Benefit:

  • download the Housing Benefit Claim Form (pdf icon PDF 611 kB) and return it to your nearest Housing Executive office or Housing Benefit unit

  • call at any Housing Executive office to pick up a form 

  • phone Housing Benefit on 03448 920 902 | NGT (Next Generation Text): 18001 03448 920 902 and a form will be posted to you.  

Completing the form

Before you start your form, please carefully read the information below in the sections:

  • Proof of identity required and
  • Evidence required.

Are you:

  • a Housing Executive tenant?
  • a housing association tenant?
  • a homeless Full Duty Applicant?
  • receiving:
    • Income Support 
    • Jobseekers Allowance (Income Based)
    • Employment & Support Allowance (Income Related)
    • Guarantee pension credit
    • Universal Credit

Or did you receive housing benefit in the last three years?

If you answered yes to one of the above then you do not need to provide proof of your identity and you can move to the other sections on evidence to read the rest of the information before completing a Housing Benefit form.

Proof of identity required

You will need  to supply proof of you and your partner’s (if applicable) identity:

Supply one of the following forms of photographic identity which must be current and valid

  • Passport*;

  • NI / GB / Ireland driving licence;

  • National identity card from an EU member state;

  • Electoral identity card;

  • Translink over 60 Smartpass

  • Translink Senior Smartpass

  • Translink Y-Link Card

  • Construction Skills Identity Card

  • Student card

  • Work pass issued by a government Department, Agency or Local Authority

*EEA nationals or other world nationals MUST produce a passport or European National Identity Card when providing proof of identity.

Supply two of the following:

  • birth certificate
  • credit / debit card
  • bank statement
  • divorce / annulment papers
  • Home Office Standard Acknowledgement Letter
  • identity card issued by an EC / EEA member state
  • letter from solicitor / social worker / probation officer / Inland Revenue / PSNI
  • life assurance or insurance policies
  • marriage certificate
  • medical card
  • National Insurance Number card
  • UK Residence Permit
  • utility bill for previous quarter
  • wage slip from current employer
  • current and valid driving licence (not NI / GB / RoI)

Evidence required

You will need to supply evidence to support your claim for Housing Benefit. Please check the details below.

  • Statements and books which show bank account details for at least the last three months. This includes accounts you hold with a bank, building society, credit union and/or post office

  • Certificates for Premium Bonds, National or Ulster Savings Certificates, ISAs, stocks, shares and unit trusts

  • Letter from solicitor or mortgage holder confirming ownership or part ownership of all property

Please note we only require evidence of Capital, Savings and Investments if the total for you and your partner exceeds £5,000 if you are of working age, or £9,000 if you are of Pension Credit age.

If working:

  • your last five weekly, three fortnightly or two monthly payslips; or
  • a certificate of earnings (this is within HB PDF form) signed by your employer

If self employed:

  • your most recent yearly accounts; or
  • a completed Self-employed Income Form (pdf icon PDF 838 kB), and
  • business bank account statements for the past two months

If a third child, or perhaps more children, has become part of your household since 11 May 2017 and they are included in your Child Tax Credit notification letter a copy should be sent to us.

Advice slip or letter for a private or occupational pension for you and / or your former partner / spouse.

  • Court order award notices or Child Support Agency letters giving details of maintenance

  • Letters from absent parents confirming maintenance they pay to you if no court order has been made

  • Letters confirming student grants and loans

If you pay for childminding we can take this into account when calculating Housing Benefit.  

Your childcare payments must be made to one of the following:

  • a registered child minder

  • a foster parent providing childcare to a child other than their own foster child under the Foster Placement (Children’s Regulations (NI)) 1996.

  • a domiciliary care worker as long as they are providing the care under the Domiciliary Care Agencies Regulations (NI) 2007.

  • out of school hours service provided by a school (on school premises), the Education Authority or a Health and Social Services Trust.

  • a person, not a relative of the child, who carries out the care wholly or mainly in the child’s home (a childminding certificate is not required in this instance)

Proof we will need

We will require proof that you make payments for childcare including:

  • a childminding certificate of registration (see final point above); and
  • confirmation from your child care provider(s) detailing the name(s) of the child(ren) they look after; and
  • proof of payments.

The online Certificate of Occupation should be completed by your landlord or their agent.

In exceptional circumstances we will accept the tenancy agreement signed by you and by your landlord or their agent.

If you qualify Housing Benefit payments usually start from the Monday after an application is received by the Housing Executive. 

It is therefore important you submit your form as soon as possible, even if you do not have all your evidence available. 

Backdating Housing Benefit claims

Sometimes we can backdate your claim: 

  • if you’re of working age a claim can be back dated for up to one month if you can show us ‘good cause’ (for example serious illness) prevented you making a claim
  • if you’re of state pension credit age (or older) your claim can be backdated automatically for up to three months

Submitting evidence for Housing Benefit 

Submit Housing Benefit evidence online 

If you can’t send your evidence online, bring it to your nearest Housing Executive office, or call us for more advice.

Any delay in sending your evidence will slow down your application and may mean you miss out on help.

Change in Circumstances 

If you have a change in circumstances while you are waiting to find out if you’ve been awarded Housing Benefit or after you have been awarded it you must tell us immediately.  

Find out more about what to do if you have a change in circumstances.

How Housing Benefit is paid

Payments of Housing Benefit are made as follows:

Housing Executive tenants - each week directly to your rent/rates account
Paid directly to claimant - every 2 weeks in arrears
Paid to private landlord / letting agent / housing association - every 4 weeks in arrears

Advice disclaimer

The information in this section is for general advice only. We recommend that you complete and return a Housing Benefit application form to allow us to fully consider your case and make a decision, or phone your local Housing Benefit office for further guidance.

What to do if your circumstances change
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