Coronavirus: council service information and advice
Information about changes to council services as a result of coronavirus
If you still have a query, you can contact us online or find the housing benefit number in the contacts directory. Details of the housing offices that handle housing benefit enquiries - Buckland, Leigh Park and Paulsgrove - are included.
If you wish to apply for housing benefit, don’t delay in making your claim whether you're a private, housing association or council tenant.
Apply for housing benefit online, or alternatively call or email the benefits service to register your intention to claim, including your name, address, phone number and national insurance number - your eligibility is considered from the day we receive your call, email or application form.
Changes to housing benefit
If you live in accommodation rented to you by a local authority, registered housing association or other registered provider of social housing, the way we calculate your housing benefit changed from April 2013.
A 14% reduction will be made to your applicable maximum rent if you under-occupy your home by a single bedroom and a 25% reduction for two bedrooms or more.
The new rules will allow you one bedroom for:
- every adult couple (married or unmarried)
- any other adult aged 16 or over
- any two children of the same sex aged under 16
- any two children aged under 10
- any other child
- a foster child or foster children (if an extra bedroom is available)
- a carer (or team of carers) who do not live with you but provide you or your partner with overnight care (if an extra bedroom is available)
- an adult child who is a deployed member of the armed forces as long as they intend to return home to live (if an extra bedroom is available)
If you think you need an extra bedroom due to your child's disability, please contact the benefits service for advice.
When size limit rules don't apply
There are certain circumstances where the size limit rules will not be applied:
- State pension credit age – If you are over state pension credit age or have a partner over state pension credit age
- Non-Mainstream accommodation – If you pay mooring charges for house boats and site charges for caravans and mobile homes as well as various “excluded tenancies”
- Temporary accommodation – If you have been accepted as homeless under homelessness legislation of the Housing Act 1996 and placed in temporary accommodation by the local authority
- Shared ownership – If you part own/part rent your home
- Supported “exempt” accommodation – If you live in a property run by housing associations or charities which provide care/support or supervision.