Housing Benefit - Who can claim

In most circumstances if you are of working age and need help with your housing costs, you must claim this through Universal Credit from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).

You must apply online for Universal Credit.

If you have more than 2 children you may still have to apply for Housing Benefit. This will be confirmed by the DWP when you apply for Universal Credit.

If you live in Supported Accommodation you will still have to apply for Housing Benefit and should contact us to apply.

If you have attained State Pension Credit age, you will need to complete an application form for Housing Benefit and/or Council Tax Reduction.

  • You can collect a form from any of our local offices
  • You can contact us by telephone on 01620 827729 or 01620 827730 to request a form
  • You can email us at benefits@eastlothian.gov.uk to request a form

If you think you may be entitled, you should claim as soon as possible. Delay may result in loss of benefit.

How it is paid

If you are a private tenant we will pay your Housing Benefit to your bank or building society account. Payment is 2 weeks in arrears.

In some circumstances, we can pay your landlord directly 4 weeks in arrears.

If you are a Council Tenant Housing Benefit is paid directly to your rent account.

If you need help or advice with your Housing Benefit and or Council Tax Reduction, we will be able to help.

For example, if you:

  • are unsure of what benefit/reduction you are entitled to
  • need help to make a claim
  • think your benefit/reduction is wrong
  • have been turned down for a benefit/reduction you think you're entitled to
  • have been awarded less (or more) benefit/redction than you think you're entitled to
  • have a change of circumstances (e.g. you've gone into/come out of a hospital or a care home, your household has changed or you have more savings)

If we can't help, we can advise you who can. Please contact us so we can find out the best way to take your query forward.