Housing Benefit

You may get housing benefit to help you pay your rent if you’re on a low income and:

  • are of state pension age; or
  • have more than two children; or
  • are living in specified accommodation where care and support is being provided

Also affecting if you can claim housing benefit:

  • Your income which includes your earnings, other benefits and tax credits
  • Your savings - if they are less than £16,000 unless you receive Guaranteed Pension Credit
  • The income of anyone else who lives with you such as grown up children or parents

Universal Credit

If you are on a low income and do not meet the criteria to claim housing benefit you will need to claim Universal Credit for help with your housing costs.

Apply for Housing Benefit

Benefits application form

Please check that you have provided the evidence required as your application cannot be processed without it. The evidence checklist is on page 23 of the form. 

Deciding applications

We aim to decide complete applications within 14 days. If we need further information to support your claim we will write to you. We will notify you once your claim has been assessed. 

Backdating a claim

If you haven't been able to apply for benefits immediately we may be able to backdate your application - for more details see:

Housing benefit rates

Housing benefit is calculated under the Local Housing Allowance (LHA) scheme and is based on:

  • the area you live in which is known as the Broad Rental Market Area (BRMA)
  • the number of bedrooms you require
  • the shared room rate applies to applicants aged under 35.

One bedroom per single adult applicant and adult couple plus one additional bedroom for:

  • any other adult aged 16 or over
  • any two children under the age of 10
  • any two children of the same sex under the age of 16
  • any other child.

2019-2020 Broad Rental Market Area (BRMA) weekly rates

Number of bedrooms Cherwell Oxford Cheltenham
Shared  £73.53  £85.46  £70.40
1 bedroom  £133.96  £163.67  £111.83
2 bedrooms  £162.29  £192.48  £143.34
3 bedrooms  £193.51  £230.14  £174.43
4 bedrooms  £248.35  £299.18  £240.59

Benefits calculators

Use an independent benefits calculator on GOV.UK to find out:

  • what benefits you could get
  • how to claim
  • how your benefits will be affected if you start work

Managing on a limited budget 

To help you draw up a household budget plan, please:

West Oxfordshire District Council
New Yatt Road
OX28 1PB