How is Housing benefit paid?

It is paid directly into your bank account, or your landlord’s bank account.

Who can Housing benefit be paid to?

If one of the following applies to you, you can ask for your benefit to be paid to you, to your landlord, or to your landlord’s agent:

  • You are a local authority (council) tenant
  • You are a tenant of a registered social landlord (housing association)
  • You have a registered or 'fair' rent
  • You have been renting the same property since before January 1989
  • You live in supported housing provided by a social landlord or charity
  • You rent a caravan, houseboat, or live in a hostel
  • You have been claiming housing benefit continuously since before 7th April 2008.

If you rent from a private landlord, your housing benefit will normally be paid to you.

How often will Housing benefit be paid?

Housing benefit is paid either every 2 weeks, or every 4 weeks. It is paid in arrears (at the end of the 2 weeks, or 4 weeks, for which it is due).

If housing benefit is paid directly to your landlord, it will be paid at the end of every 4 weeks.

Can my claim be backdated if I apply late?

Working age customers: If you are working, on Income Support or income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, your housing benefit or council tax support can be backdated for a maximum of 6 months from the date you apply. You must have a good reason for not applying earlier.

Pension age customers: Your housing benefit or council tax support can be backdated for a maximum of 3 months from the date you apply.

You can ask for backdated benefit on the Council Tax support and Housing benefit claim form.