Housing benefit helps tenants with low incomes pay their rent. It is a means tested benefit so the amount you get depends on:
your savings or capital
the size and for some private tenants, the condition of your home, compared with similar homes in the area
the amount of your rent
other people living with you
Types of housing benefit claims
In Bury there are 5 main groups of housing benefit claimants. The type of benefit claim depends on when the claim was made and who the landlord of the property is.
Tenants of Six Town Housing
Tenants of housing associations and registered social landlords
Private tenants with tenancies which have been ongoing since before 1989. These are known as registered rents.
Private tenants who have been claiming at their current address since between 1989 and 2008.
Private tenants who have claimed at their current address since 2008. This scheme is known as local housing allowance.
Tenants of Six Town Housing, housing associations and those with registered rents are usually charged lower amounts of rent than tenants in the private sector. For these types of claims the maximum amount of housing benefit will usually cover the amount of rent charged. From April 2013 there are restrictions on the amount of housing benefit you can receive if your rent from a social landlord and your property is too large for the size of your household. Find out more about the under occupancy rules.
For tenants renting from private landlords the Benefits Service has to decide if the rent being charged is a fair one. For claims made before 2008 and which are still in payment this decision is made on a case by case basis by the Valuation Office Agency
Claims made after April 2008 are paid under the local housing allowance scheme. This was designed to make the benefits system simpler, by removing the need to value the rent of each claim on an individual basis. Instead the maximum amount of benefit is based on the size of the tenant's household. Find out more about local housing allowance.
Making a claim for housing benefit
Bury Council administers housing benefit, council tax support and free school meals. Although they are different schemes we need to see the same information, so wherever possible we will administer all of them together which means that you only need to complete one application.