Renfrewshire Council

How to apply for housing benefit

Apply online, other ways to apply, evidence to support your claim, backdating your claim, applying for a Council Tax reduction at the same time.

You should make your claim as early as possible. It is important that you continue to pay your rent while we process your application.

Apply online

Check if you can get Housing Benefit before you apply by using the free benefit calculators on the GOV.UK website.

When you apply, you'll need to tell us:

  • your national insurance number
  • your nationality
  • details of your partner, if you have one, and anyone else living within your household
  • income from any work you do or any benefits or pension you receive
  • any accounts, savings, investments or property you have
  • details of your rent, like how much you pay, when you pay it and any other costs included
  • details of the property you rent, like what type it is or how many rooms it has
  • a bank or building society account to pay you the Housing Benefit.

We may need to ask you for more evidence or documentation, like bills, bank statements or proof of identity, to support your claim.

Apply online for Housing Benefit

If you are making a claim for Pension Credit

You can apply Housing Benefit at the same time as you claim Pension Credit. Your Pension Service office will send your Housing Benefit claim form to us, if you apply for it at the same time. We will contact you if we need further details.

Other ways to apply for Housing Benefit

You can:

Evidence to support your claim

We may ask you for more evidence to support your claim. This could include proof of your identity, your income, expenses like childcare, or proof you're a student.

Backdating your Housing Benefit Claim

If you're of working age, Housing Benefit can only be backdated up to one month from the date of your application.

If you're of pension age, Housing Benefit can only be backdated up to three months from the date of your application.

We will take into account any factors that would have caused a person of your age, health and experience not to have claimed for it earlier.

You must show us:

  • you had good reasons for not making your claim sooner
  • these reasons cover the period you are asking us to pay from
  • you would have qualified for Housing Benefit during this period.

If you had someone acting on your behalf during this period, we will make a decision based on their reasons for not making a claim sooner, not yours.

Depending on what you tell us we may ask for supporting evidence [link], such as a letter from your doctor if you are ill.

Council tax reductions

If you get Housing Benefit, you may also be entitled to a Council Tax reduction.

You can apply for a Council Tax reduction at the same time you apply online for Housing Benefit

Or you can download the Housing Benefit and Council Tax Reduction application form [1MB] and send it to us at or by post to:

Renfrewshire Council
Benefits Service
Renfrewshire House
Cotton Street
PA1 1AD.