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Housing Benefit

Is the cost of living crisis affecting you?

Make sure you’re getting the help you're entitled to.

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Housing Benefit

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).

This also applies when one member of a couple has reached State Pension qualifying age, but the other is under that age.

If you live in supported accommodation and receive Universal Credit, you can still receive Housing Benefit from us to help with your rent. More information about Housing Benefit eligibility can be found on the website.

Existing Housing Benefit claimants should carry on claiming as normal. Single pensioners and couples, where both are pensioners, should continue to claim Housing Benefit 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'll get by looking at:

  • the amount of money you receive
  • the amount of savings and investments you have
  • the circumstances and income of people who live with you

If your savings and investments are over £16,000, 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.

Benefit Cap

The UK Government has placed a limit on the total amount of benefits working-age people can receive. This is known as the Benefit Cap.

The cap amounts are:

  • £423.46 per week (£22,020 a year) for couples
  • £423.46 per week (£22,020 a year) for lone parents (if your children live with you)
  • £283.71 per week (£14,753 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

From January 2023, you can apply for a Discretionary Housing Payment (DHP) to cover any shortfall in your rent caused by the Benefit Cap being applied to either your Housing Benefit or Universal Credit. Apply online at

Spare Room Subsidy

The UK Government has placed a limit on the number of bedrooms Housing Benefit can be paid for if you are working age and a Council or Housing Association tenant.

If you have more bedrooms than the government decides you need, your Housing Benefit will be reduced.  If you have 1 bedroom too many it will be reduced by 14%, if you have 2 or more bedrooms too many it will be reduced by 25%.

If you are affected by this, you can apply for a Discretionary Housing Payment to cover the shortfall.  Apply online at

For more information on Welfare and Benefits, please visit

Applying Online

If you do not have a computer at home, computers are available and free to use at all Fife libraries. Find your nearest at:

If you need help or support completing the application form, please call us on 03451 55 11 55 or complete the Book an Appointment form, to make an appointment at your nearest Customer Service Centre.

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. You can send these to us by email at, your documents can be handed into a Customer service centre by appointment or you can send them to the Benefits and Council Tax Team at the address below.

Benefits and Council Tax Team
PO BOX 18015
Bankhead Central

View your claim and letters online

You can now register to view Housing Benefit/ Council Tax Reduction/ Discretionary Housing Payment information electronically. This will include notifications confirming the details used in any assessment and entitlement where applicable.

To register for online letters or to view your Claim Summary click the button below.

Please note in order to register or access your Claim Summary you will need the following information:

  • National Insurance Number
  • Date of Birth
  • Current claim reference – this may be on letters previously sent to you. If you do not have any letters containing this information you can contact the Benefits and Council Tax Team for assistance on 03451 55 11 55.
  • An email address

You can view the answers to the questions we get asked most often, about this service, in our FAQ section.

Housing Benefit Payment Dates

March 2024

How often do you receive a payment? If you receive your HB by BACS, the next payment will arrive in your account on:
Two Weekly 28/03/2024
Four Weekly 28/03/2024
Calendar Monthly 28/03/2024

April 2024

How often do you receive a payment? If you receive your HB by BACS, the next payment will arrive in your account on:
Two Weekly 26/04/2024
Four Weekly 26/04/2024
Calendar Monthly 30/04/2024