Housing benefit

Housing benefit is available for both council tenants and private tenants who are entitled to help with their rent. How much help is available varies according to:

  • family circumstances
  • income and savings
  • the people you have living with you.

Outgoings are not taken into account.

People receiving income support or jobseeker's allowance (income Based) will receive 100% of 'eligible rent' and a deduction will be made for anyone who is not a partner or a dependent child living with the claimant. 

If you need any help to understand your decision notice from April 2015, please see our frequently asked questions.

Discretionary Housing Payments (DHP)

Since 2001 councils have had powers to make Discretionary Housing Payments (DHP) to help make good any shortfalls between rents and housing benefit (HB) or to help with one-off payments such as removal costs or rent in advance. Find out more here.

Check online to see if you are eligible for housing benefit

To determine if you qualify for any benefit, use the online benefits adviser calculator on the Gov.uk website which will also give you an indication of any possible award that may be given to you. Follow the link to complete the form for an estimate: 

Online benefits adviser

If you would like additional information about housing and council tax benefit, visit the benefits and financial support section on the Gov.uk website for useful information.

Apply for housing benefit   

From Monday 7 December 2015, help with housing costs will either be paid through Housing Benefit or as part of a Universal Credit award. Universal Credit will initially only be claimed by working age jobseekers who are single and do not have dependent children.
If you want to check whether to claim Universal Credit or Housing Benefit you can use our triage form or check the government website showing eligibility criteria for Universal Credit.
As Universal Credit is a new benefit, it may be that even though you have claimed Housing Benefit in the past, you now need to claim Universal Credit.
If you already know which benefit you need to claim, please follow these links: 
In addition to these benefits, you may also be able to claim help with your council tax from us.
If you think you are entitled to housing benefit and/or council tax reduction, please complete the application form:
Apply for housing benefit and/or council tax reduction

Seven most wanted!

We're looking for the 'Seven most wanted' pieces of information that will help us speed up your benefit claim. Find out what these are from the link below:

Click here for the 'Seven most wanted' list

Change of address

If you are claiming housing benefit and have moved or are about to move, please inform the benefits team of the following information immediately, using the form below:

  • the date you moved in
  • the new address
  • proof of new tenancy if renting from a private landlord or housing association.

Change of address form (172 Kb pdf)

Local Housing Allowance (LHA)

Local Housing Allowance will be a major change to how housing benefit will be paid to private tenants - click here to find out more about LHA.

How to appeal against a city council benefits decision

If you receive a benefit notification decision you can ask for a review of that decision. If you are not satisfied with the review, you can appeal against that decision. However, you must submit your request within one month of the date of the benefit decision.

You must include the following details in your request:

  1. Reference number – this is the housing benefit reference which is on the letter the council sends to you to notify you of the benefits decision.
  2. NINO – this is your National Insurance Number.
  3. Name – please provide your full name.
  4. Address - the full postal address of your home where you are claiming housing benefit.
  5. Telephone number – please provide your contact number(s) if you have one.
  6. Date of decision – this is the date of the letter from the council telling you about your housing benefits decision. If you are submitting an appeal more than one month from this date you will need to provide reasons why the appeal is late.
  7. Reasons for appeal – you have to state the reasons why you think the benefits decision is wrong. You may wish to seek independent advice about this. 
  8. Signature and date – please sign and date your appeal.
Your completed appeal should be sent to:
Norwich City Council
City Hall
St Peters Street
NR2 1NH 

Contact details

For further advice, call 0344 980 3333 or email benefits@norwich.gov.uk.

Related pages