Ryedale District Council


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Housing benefit

Housing Benefit is paid to householders who need help with payment of their rent. Claims require evidence of tenancy and income in order to assess eligibility for benefit.

To claim Housing Benefit you must fall into one of the following;

  • You and your partner are of pension age,
  • You are working age and living in Supported Accommodation,
  • You are working age and living in Temporary Accommodation under the Homeless Person Act,
  • You are entitled to Severe Disability Premium.

If you do not fall into one of the categories above you need to apply for Universal Credit for help with housing costs.

Who can claim?

You can claim Housing Benefit if you are on a low income and pay rent on a property to a private landlord or housing associations  providing you fall into one of the categories above.

You can check on your eligibility for Housing Benefit through the Benefits Calculator.

When making a claim for Housing Benefit you can also apply for Council Tax Support.

How can I Claim?

You can make a claim for Housing Benefit and Council Tax Support through this online form. Fill in all the relevant questions, attach the supporting evidence and sign and date the declaration. If you cannot provide all of the evidence with the application form, send the completed form in straight away and provide the supplementary evidence within 4 weeks.

Our benefit advisors also offer benefit assessments and provide advice about entitlement.

Backdated claims

In most cases Housing Benefit will be paid from the Monday after the claim form is received, however in some cases the payment of Housing Benefit could be backdated. 

  • 3 months backdate if you are of pensionable age
  • 1 month backdate if you are working age and can provide a good reason why you did not apply earlier.

You can request to backdate your claim through  the online form when you apply for Housing Benefit, or if you have already applied you can write in to request a backdate up to 1 month from the date on the benefit decision notice. Please note you need to provide a good reason why you did not apply earlier to be eligible for a backdate.

Your housing benefit entitlement is means tested based upon your circumstances. The amount of benefit you receive will depend upon your income, savings, household, the total amount your family currently receives in benefits and the amount of bedrooms your family need.

The 2013 welfare reforms could influence the amount if housing Benefit you are entitled to.

Social Sector Size Restrictions 

Based upon your household, you could be restricted to the amount of Housing Benefit you are entitled to. If you have more bedrooms in your household than you need under these rules you will be classed as “under- occupying” the property and a percentage reduction will be applied to your eligible rent.

The rules allow one bedroom for:

  • every adult couple (married or unmarried)
  • any other adult aged 16 or over
  • any two children of the same sex aged under 16
  • any two children aged under 10
  • any other child

The amount of the percentage reduction depends on how many extra bedrooms you have:

  • 14% if you have one extra bedroom
  • 25% if you have two or more extra bedrooms

Please note the Social sector restrictions only apply to working age claimants renting from housing associations. These rules do not apply if you are of pension age. If you are working age and renting from a private landlord please refer to the Local Housing Allowance Page. 

Benefit Cap

The government announced a “cap “on total benefits received for working age households. This could reduce the amount of Housing benefit you receive if the amount of benefit would exceed the benefit cap the excess will be deducted from Housing Benefit.

You do not have to renew your Housing Benefit claim, this will continue to be paid for as long as you are entitled to the benefit. 

However, changes in circumstances can affect the amount of Housing Benefit you are entitled to. You need to tell us straight away of any changes to ensure you are being paid the correct amount of Housing Benefit.

Examples of changes in circumstances include:

  • Changes in income (wages, working tax credits, work pension or state benefit)
  • Somebody has moved in or out of your home
  • You have moved house or your rent changes
  • Started work, changed job or becoming unemployed
  • Other adults in the households circumstances have changed
  • You or someone in your household has gone into hospital

You can report changes in circumstances through this form Change in Circumstances online form, alternatively you could email these to benefits or call the office. 

Whilst you do not need to renew your Housing Benefit claim, we may contact you to conduct an in-claim review. This will ensure your benefit entitlement is based upon up to date information of your circumstances.

Tell us immediately of a change

If you do not notify us of a change in circumstances you could be paid the wrong amount of Housing Benefit.

If the change resulted in you being entitled to more Housing Benefit you may not be able to backdate your claim and you could lose out. 

If the change resulted in you being entitled to less Housing Benefit you could have been overpaid Housing Benefit that will need to be repaid.

Please note changes in circumstances could also affect other benefits


Anyone who has claimed housing benefit and disagrees with the decision made in their assessment can challenge the decision by submitting an Application for Housing Benefit appeal (PDF, 2 pages, 33kb), within one month of the date of the original decision.

Understanding our decision and making an appeal (PDF, 2 pages, 346kb)

It is very important that you check the information on your benefit decision notice to make sure that you agree with the income, savings and, where appropriate, the amount of rent which has been used in the calculation. However, the amount of rent that has been used in the calculation will not necessarily be the full amount of rent you have to pay.

You can ask that we explain to you in writing exactly how your entitlement was calculated before you decide whether to appeal. 

If you want us to look at the decision again or appeal

If you decide that you are not happy with your benefit entitlement and you would like us to look at your claim again, or, if you want to appeal against it, you should make your request in writing to be received at this office within one calendar month of the date on the decision notice.

Appeals made more than one month after your notification of benefit entitlement should also explain the delay in making an appeal.

Your claim will be looked at by a different member of staff and a full explanation given. If you are still unhappy with the decision you can ask for your appeal to be sent to the Independent Appeals Tribunal service.

If you have experienced financial hardship as a result of Covid-19 and are on a low income you could be eligible for Housing Benefit to help cover the cost of your rent providing you fall into one of the categories listed at the top of the page.  If you do not fall into one of the categories you should check your eligibility for Universal Credit. For more information go to the benefits update Covid-19 page.


Contact us

Ryedale District Council
Ryedale House
Old Malton Road
Malton, North Yorkshire
YO17 7HH

Email: Contact the Council

Phone: 01653 600666

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