Housing benefit and local housing allowance (LHA)

Benefits calculator

Check to find out all benefits you might be eligible for on Gov.UK's benefits adviser.

If you rent your home and have a low income, or receive benefits, you may be entitled to housing benefit to help pay your rent.

You may have heard about changes to benefits. You might want to check if the bedroom tax or the benefits cap affect you.

Housing laws differ between Scotland and England
This content applies to Scotland only
Get advice if you're in England

  • What is housing benefit?

    Housing benefit can help you pay your rent if you're a council or housing association tenant. Find out what housing benefit is, and if you can claim housing benefit.

  • Claiming housing benefit

    Find out how to make claiming housing benefit go as smoothly as possible.

  • Waiting for a decision

    What to expect while you are waiting for a housing benefit benefit decision. And what to do if you haven't heard anything from your council about your housing benefit or council benefit claim.

  • Getting a decision

    How to work out what your housing benefit decision letter means. What to do if you disagree with it or want to know how the council decided what benefit you will receive.

  • Changes in your circumstances

    If your circumstances change, it may affect how much housing benefit you can claim. You might get extended housing benefit to help you if you're returning to work, for example.

  • Local housing allowance

    Local housing allowance (LHA) can pay your rent if you have a private landlord. Find out who can claim local housing allowance, and how you can claim local housing allowance.

  • How housing benefit is calculated

    Housing benefit (HB) is paid by the council to help you pay rent. Work out if you're eligible to apply for housing benefit and how much housing benefit you might be able to claim.

  • Backdated benefit

    You can get your housing benefit backdated if you can show good cause. There are limits to how far back you can get your housing benefit backdated.

  • Discretionary housing payments

    If you claim some housing benefit but are having difficulty paying the rest of your rent yourself, you may be able to get a discretionary housing payment.

  • Challenging a decision

    If you receive a letter or an explanation from the housing benefit department that you disagree with, there are things you can do to get your benefits decision looked at again.

  • Housing benefit for under 35s

    If you're under 35, claiming housing benefit and renting privately, how could your age affect your housing benefit claim?

  • Housing benefit for students

    Most full-time students are not entitled to housing benefit, however there are some exceptions, so check which students can claim housing benefit.

  • Housing benefit before you move in

    You may need to start paying rent on a new home before you move in. You may be able to get housing benefit to cover your rent.

  • Housing benefit for two homes

    You might be able to get housing benefit for more than one home. Normally you can only get housing benefit for one home. Find out when you can do this and how to apply.

  • Housing benefit while you are away from home

    You might get housing benefit if you are away from home, with certain conditions. Check if you're eligible and how long you might be able to claim housing benefit for.

  • Housing benefit for your notice period

    You may be able to get housing benefit for up to four weeks after you move. Housing benefit usually stops the day you move out of your home but there are exceptions.

  • Housing benefit if you rent from a family member

    Find out if you can claim housing benefit if you pay rent to a family member.

  • Universal credit

    Universal Credit is a new single payment for people who are looking for work or on a low income. Find out more about universal credit here.

  • The benefit cap

    The benefit cap will affect families and single parents across Scotland from July 2013. Find out more about how the benefit cap will affect you.

  • The 'bedroom tax'

    If you are a social tenant and have a spare room then your housing benefit will be reduced due to the bedroom tax. Find out more about the bedroom tax in Scotland here.

Speak to a Shelter Scotland adviser

Call Shelter Scotland's free housing advice helpline

0808 800 4444
9am-5pm, Monday to Friday

Email an adviser

You can also email a housing adviser. We aim to respond within three working days.

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