If you have a low income:
- Housing Benefit or Universal Credit can help meet the cost of your rent and
- Council Tax Support can reduce the cost of your Council Tax
You can claim whether you work or not, but you must be the person responsible for paying the rent and/or Council Tax.
You can only make a claim for your home.
Universal Credit: full service available in Bedford
Universal Credit has replaced new claims for housing benefit for most working age people in Bedford Borough unless you are:
- Of state pension age. You can check your State Pension age here. However, if you are a couple and only one of you is of State Pension age, you will have to claim Universal Credit.
- You qualify for the Severe Disability Premium in the calculation of your other benefits – you generally get this only if:
- You are entitled to the Daily Living element of Personal Independence Payment or the Care component of Disability Living Allowance at the Middle or High level AND
- You live alone AND
- Nobody gets either Carers Allowance or the Carer element of Universal Credit for looking after you.
- Or you live in “supported exemption accommodation”. This is generally a hostel or sheltered accommodation. This is a complex matter and you should take advice from us first.
If you are already claiming Housing Benefit, you will remain on that benefit until your circumstances change, but if you are making a new claim, you will now have to claim Universal Credit.
Help you can receive
The amount of help you receive will depend on:
- The amount of rent and/or Council Tax you pay
- Whether anyone else (such as lodgers or grown-up children) lives with you
- The amount of money you have coming in each week
- The amount the Government says you need to live on, and
- Any savings of other assets eg an interest in another property
Please note that not everyone on a low income will qualify for help and special rules apply to people who are not British nationals.
You will need to complete an application form to apply for help and provide original documents to confirm your income, savings and rent.