If you are having problems paying your rent it may be worthwhile checking if you qualify for Housing Benefit.
It can be claimed by people on low incomes who cannot afford to pay their rent. You may still qualify for Housing Benefit if you are working.
Housing Benefit will be included in the new Universal Credit. See our Welfare Reform page for more details.
The amount you get depends upon:
- The level of income coming into your home
- The number of non-dependents living with you
- The number of children living with you
- The number of bedrooms your home has, compared to the number the Government says you need
- Any savings or other assets you may have
- The level of the rent
Cornwall Council benefit calculator
A benefit calculator is available from Cornwall Council. It estimates how much Housing Benefit and help with Council Tax you could get.
How to apply for Housing Benefit
You will need to complete a claim form, and provide any further information to go with it which is listed.
Forms are available from Cornwall Council by calling 0300 1234 121, or visit the Housing Benefit section of their website to apply online.
The information needs to be returned to Cornwall Council for assessment.
Once a decision has been made, you will receive a letter from them confirming any entitlement.
Discretionary Housing Payments
If you receive Housing Benefit but still struggle to pay your rent, Cornwall Council’s Discretionary Housing Payments may be able to top up your benefit.
The fund can make temporary payments to help you out while you improve your circumstances. For example, if you’re subject to the ‘Bedroom Tax’ then a Discretionary Housing Payment may be awarded to cover the difference between your Housing Benefit and rent, allowing you time to find a smaller property. You may also be eligible if you are looking for employment but are subject to the Benefit Cap.
Discretionary Housing Payments can also be awarded as a one-off amount to help improve your circumstances. For example, if rent arrears are preventing you from being able to move home.
To find out more about Discretionary Housing Payments, please visit Cornwall Council's website.
If you receive housing benefit for a period where you were not entitled to it, or you receive more housing benefit than you were entitled to, this will create an overpayment.
Most Coastline customers have their Housing Benefit payments sent directly to us. As overpayments are usually paid back in instalments from ongoing weekly Housing Benefit awards, you will need to make up this difference by paying any shortfall in your rent to Coastline.
If you find the weekly amount being recovered towards your overpayment seems too high, and is causing you to struggle financially, you can ask Cornwall Council to lower it. You will need to complete a financial statement and send it to them. A form can be downloaded from Cornwall Council's Housing Benefit pages.
Please let us know if you need help with any forms.