Will I be entitled to housing benefit or council tax support?
Housing benefit and council tax support are means tested awards, which means we look at your income and capital to work out how much help we provide. However before we start working out the amount of your award we have to check if you are eligible.
Who is entitled?
To claim housing benefit you need to be responsible for paying the rent on the property. It does not matter if you live in:
a Six Town Housing property
a housing association property
privately rented accommodation
a hostel or other similar accommodation
many other types of rented accommodation (but not most residential care of nursing homes)
To claim council tax support you need to be responsible for paying the council tax bill for your home.
Depending on your income and capital you may be entitled to housing benefit or council tax support if:
you have or haven't paid any National Insurance contributions;
the United Kingdom, the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man of the Irish Republic is your permanent home. (If you have entered the United Kingdom within two years of your claim for benefit, will need to ask you about this)
Who is not entitled to housing benefit or council tax support?
The following people cannot claim housing benefit or council tax support:
people with the following amounts of savings;
if you have over £16,000 in savings you will not normally be entitled to housing benefit or council tax support.
if you have over £8,000 in savings you will not be entitled to council tax support if you are of working age, but you may still be able to claim housing benefit.
if you get the guaranteed element of pension credit and you have savings over the £16,000 limit you may still be entitled;
people who live in a care home, a nursing home or an elderly person's home - please see our page about benefits when you are away from your home for more information about what happens if you move to a care home on a temporary basis;
asylum seekers who have not been given refugee status or indefinite or exceptional leave to remain in the UK;
people who have been admitted to the UK on condition that you have 'no recourse to public funds';
sponsored immigrants who have lived here for less than five years;
people who are in the UK illegally or their permission to stay has run out.
People who fall into one of the following categories are unlikely to get housing benefit, but we will look at each claim on an individual basis. You may still be able to claim council tax support:
you used to own the property, which you now rent;
you pay rent to a close relative who lives with you;
you rent a former joint home from your ex-partner;
you are the parent or guardian of your landlord's child;
you live in your home as part of your job;
you rent the property from a company and you are a director or an employee of the company;
you rent from a trust and you are the trustee or beneficiary.
The following people cannot normally get council tax support:
people who are not liable to pay council tax in their own right;
people who are exempt from paying council tax;
people who don't live in the property they are liable to pay council tax for.