Housing benefit - how is benefit paid?

Understanding your payments of Housing Benefit

  • If you are a council tenant we pay the benefit directly to your rent account.
  • If you are a private tenant, there are set dates that we can make payments of Housing Benefit to you. These dates will not always match the date that your rent is due to your landlord.
  • If you are more than eight weeks in arrears with rent, we will pay your housing benefit directly to your landlord.

All new benefit claims are paid in arrears whether the benefit is paid to you or your landlord.

  • If we make payments to you they will be paid every two weeks in arrears.
  • If we make payments direct to your landlord we will pay them every four weeks in arrears.

Two weekly and four weekly payments.

All payments are usually credited to your bank or building society on a Monday and will generally be paid in arrears. If a payment is due on a bank holiday we will always endeavour to credit your account before this date.

Claimants usually get paid every two weeks and landlords get paid every four weeks. This is known as your payment frequency.

Your weekly Housing Benefit is multiplied by two weeks or four weeks depending on your payment frequency and this is the amount that you will be paid each time.

How to work out the weekly rent.

Housing Benefit is calculated using weekly rents, so, if you pay rent per calendar month we will work out how much rent you pay each week over a year.

This is how we calculate your weekly rent if you are charged calendar monthly:

1. Use the rent charged per calendar month.
2. Multiply the monthly rent by 12 to get a yearly amount.
3. Divide the yearly amount by 52 to get a weekly amount which is the rent we use.

2015/16 Housing Benefit Payment Schedule

Two weekly payment schedule

2 April 2015* 5 October 2015
20 April 2015 19 October 2015
1 May 2015* 2 November 2015
18 May 2015 16 November 2015
1 June 2015 30 November 2015
15 June 2015 14 December 2015
29 June 2015 24 December 2015*
13 July 2015 11 January 2016
27 July 2015 25 January 2016
10 August 2015 8 February 2016
24 August 2015 22 February 2016
7 September 2015 7 March 2016
21 September 2015 21 March 2016

* early payment due to bank holiday.

Four weekly payment schedule

2 April 2015* 19 October 2015
1 May 2015* 16 November 2015
1 June 2015 14 December 2015
29 June 2015 11 January 2016
27 July 2015 8 February 2016
24 August 2015 7 March 2016
21 September 2015

* early payment due to bank holiday.

Getting paid.

We can pay benefit directly into your bank or building society account (but not a Post Office Card Account). This will avoid delays and you can set up a standing order with your landlord.

What happens next?

We will continue to pay benefit until you move (when we would ask you to complete a new claim form), or your circumstances change and you no longer qualify for benefits. We will conduct home visits or send letters enquiring if your circumstances have changed since you made your benefit claim. If circumstances have changed let us know immediately, as your benefit may have been over or underpaid. If you rent your home from a private landlord, we will ask them to pay the money back and you will owe your landlord the difference.

If you fail to tell us within one calendar month of changes that could increase your benefit, you will lose your benefit.  Changes could be a decrease in wages, an addition to your family, increase in childcare costs, a nondependent leaving your household, etc.

You should advise the benefits department immediately of any changes in your circumstances by contacting the Housing Benefits Customer Services team on 01474 33 77 10.  They will send you a change of circumstances form to complete, sign and return to the Housing Benefits Department to amend your claim.

We pay all benefit claims as quickly as possible.

To help us calculate your benefit quickly, we need evidence of your income, savings, National Insurance Number, occupation and identity to be enclosed with your benefit application form.  Return the application form even if you cannot give us all the evidence and information we need, as you could possibly lose any benefit you may be entitled to.  Provide as much information as you can but let us know the earliest date when you will provide the additional information.

If we need to write to you for more information, we will give you 14 days to respond. If we don't hear from you or do not receive the information requested, we will make a second request and give you a further 14 days.  If you continue to fail to submit the information, we will make your claim defective and you will have to start a new benefit application.

Last Updated: 16 June 2015