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Housing benefit

Information on what is housing benefit, how to apply for it and what evidence you need to bring along.

What is Housing Benefit?

Housing Benefit helps you pay your rent if you are on a low income. The amount of housing benefit due to you is worked out by looking at:

  • How much money you have coming in
  • Your personal circumstances and the amount of rent you have to pay
  • The amount of savings you have (more than £16,000 will normally disqualify you).

You can use the UK government: Recommended Benefits Calculators to work out whether you are entitled to benefits or you can request a benefits health check from the council.

Who does the scheme apply to?

  • Anyone paying rent.
  • Tenants living in council property, privately rented accommodation (the allowance for these tenants is known as Local Housing Allowance and the rates are set separately), hostels and housing association accommodation.

Welfare reform changes

From April 2013, if you live in a council or housing association home and you have one or more "spare" bedrooms your housing benefit may be reduced. This could affect you:

  • if you are 16 up until state retirement age
  • even if you only get a small amount of housing benefit for example if you are working
  • even if you are sick or disabled

For further detail about the changes, visit (or download):

How do I claim?

Click on this link, it's the quickest and easiest way to apply: 

Apply for Housing Benefit / Council Tax Reduction

Or you can contact us on 0141 577 3002 for advice. 

Please note that by a partner we mean a person you are married to or a person you live with as if you are married to them, or a civil partner or a person you live with as if you are civil partners.

Things to remember

  • Provide all the supporting evidence, we cannot pay your benefit until we have seen all the evidence we have asked for.
  • You won't get any benefit if you don't claim.

The evidence that you need to provide

  • National Insurance numbers for you and your partner
  • Identity (two documents per person)
  • Capital, savings and investments
  • Earnings
  • Other income
  • Bank accounts
  • Benefits, allowances or pensions
  • Private rent and tenancy.

Please note that you must provide original documents, not copies. Please note that we cannot pay your benefit until we have seen all the proof we have asked for.

Start date: To make sure your Housing Benefit starts from the earliest date possible, you should contact us as soon as you need benefit to tell us that you plan to claim.

What can I do if my claim is refused?

If you are not happy with our decision about your claim for Housing Benefit, you can make an appeal by contacting the Money Advice and Rights Team, you will find their details in the contact area of this page.

Additional Support with housing costs is available from the council

If you are a tenant within East Renfrewshire and your housing benefit has been reduced for any of the following reasons the Council may be able to help and you should apply for a Discretionary Housing Payment.

Circumstances in which additional help is available are
  • Tenants when housing benefit has been reduced because of the benefit cap
  • Tenants when housing benefit has been reduced following the removal of spare room subsidy in the social rental sector. (Local authority or housing association tenants)
  • Private sector tenants when housing benefit has been restricted because of local housing allowance restrictions
  • Anyone who needs additional assistance to prevent homelessness should also apply.
Qualifying Conditions

To qualify for assistance you need to be in receipt of housing benefit and require further assistance with housing costs.

How to apply

Application forms have been sent to all tenants affected by removal of the spare room subsidy. If you need help to complete the form you should contact Kerry Martin on 0141 577 3649 or email Additional forms are also available.

Please note the council cannot provide additional financial assistance through Discretionary Housing Payment unless you submit an application. Even if you applied last year, a new form is required for the current year (1 April 2016 to 31 March 2017).

Help is available. Please apply for it!


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