In most circumstances if you are working age and need help with your housing costs you must claim this through Universal Credit from the Department for Work & Pensions (DWP).
Information on Welfare Reform and claiming Universal Credit can be found here
If you live in supported accommodation and receive Universal Credit you can still receive Housing Benefit from Fife Council to help with your rent.
If you have 3 or more children you can still claim Housing Benefit from Fife Council to help with your rent.
Existing Housing Benefit claimants and those of pension age should carry on claiming as normal.
You’ll be told as soon as you need to do anything differently.
Housing benefit is a means tested benefit payable to people who are responsible for paying rent. We work out how much you will get by looking at the:
- amount of money you receive
- amount of savings and investments you have
- circumstances and income of people who live with you
If your savings and investments are over £16000 you will not qualify for housing benefit.
If you receive a Housing Cost Element as part of your Universal Credit award, you will not be able to claim Housing Benefit.
Housing benefit helps people who pay rent to the Council or to a private landlord or housing association. The Government calls housing benefit for private tenants Local Housing Allowance.
Important Changes to Your Housing Benefit
The UK Government have placed a limit on the total amount of benefits working age people can receive. This is known as the Benefit Cap.
From 7th November 2016 the cap amounts are changing to:
- £384.62 per week (£20,000 a year) for couples and lone parents
- £257.69 per week (£13,400 a year) if you’re single.
If your income from benefits is above these levels, the amount of Housing Benefit or Universal Credit you receive may be reduced. Further information can be found at www.gov.uk/benefit-cap.
Also introduced by the UK Government in April 2013 was the removal of the Spare Room Subsidy, also known as the Bedroom Tax. This change means that Council and Housing Association tenants of working age who have more bedrooms than the Government decides they need will have their Housing Benefit reduced by 14% if they have 1 bedroom too many or 25% if they have 2 or more bedrooms too many.
In some limited circumstance you may be able to apply for help from the DHP fund if you have been affected by the new spare bedrooms or benefit cap rules. Find out who can claim and apply online at www.fifedirect.org.uk/dhp.
For more information on Welfare and Benefits visit www.fifedirect.org.uk/benefits
If you don’t have a computer at home, computers are available and free to use at all of Fife’s libraries. Find your nearest at:
If you need help or support completing the application form, please call us on 03451 55 11 55.
When you make a claim for housing benefit you will be asked to provide evidence to support your claim. All documents, certificates and evidence must be originals. Your documents can be handed into a local office by appointment or you can send them to the Benefits and Council Tax Team at the address below.
By Post: Benefits and Council Tax Assessment Team, PO BOX 18015, Glenrothes, KY7 5YJ
Tel: 03451 55 11 55