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‘Can I get help with my rent?’

If Universal Credit has been introduced where you live, some of the information in this set of pages may not apply to you  For an introduction to Universal Credit, click here

If you rent your home from someone, you may be entitled to Housing Benefit. Housing Benefit is, as its name implies, a benefit to help you with your rent. It’s a means-tested benefit, like Income Support, income based Jobseeker's Allowance, etc, but it doesn’t work in quite the same way.

With Income Support, for example, the Jobcentre Plus works out how much money you need to live on, and if you have less money coming in than that you get your income topped up with Income Support. With Housing Benefit you may be entitled to some help with your rent even if the other money you have coming in is more than you need to live on.

Unlike Income Support and similar benefits it is not paid by part of the Department of Work and Pensions (like the Jobcentre Plus): instead it is paid by the local authority (council).

The big problem with Housing Benefit is that the figure it uses for your rent isn’t normally the same as what your actual rent is, but something called the eligible rent, which is usually less.

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