Housing benefit is for people on a low income to help pay rent and is processed by your local council looking at your individual circumstances and savings. You will be asked for information about who lives in the property with you, the household income and any savings. It can be paid whether you are working and on a low income or on low income benefits due to other reasons. The benefit is means tested.
You can only make a new claim for Housing Benefit if you (and your partner) are over Pension age or in other very limited circumstances. People of working age wishing to claim help with their rent for the first time will need to apply for Universal Credit. There are a few exceptions so please seek advice.
Housing Benefit cannot be paid to help with the costs of a mortgage or home loan. If you are an owner-occupier, you may be able to get help with your mortgage interest through income based benefits such as Universal Credit, Income Support, income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, income based Employment and Support Allowance or Pension Credit.
If you are claiming Housing Benefit and your circumstances change you must notify the office paying your benefit to report the change.
If you are under pension age and claiming Housing Benefit you will eventually be contacted and asked to claim Universal Credit. For more information on housing benefit and the Bedroom Tax Visit www.peterborough.gov.uk/council/benefits/housing-benefit-tax-support
These are paid to people over pension age and can be between £100 and £300, depending on your individual circumstances. Payments are usually made automatically if you qualify. For more details Visit www.gov.uk/winter-fuel-payment, or Telephone 0800 7310160
This is currently set at £140. The money is not paid to you, it is a one-off discount on your electricity bill, between October and March. The scheme is run by your energy suppliers. To qualify you must be in receipt of the guaranteed element of Pension Credit, however, some energy suppliers will also award the discount to a wider group of people if they are getting a low income benefit. You must contact your energy supplier directly to claim this discount.
The Local Energy Advice Partnership (LEAP) provides a range of energy saving measures to help with your heating costs and can also check you are on the best available deal for your energy needs. Visit www.applyforleap.org.uk
These payments are automatically made to you by DWP in the event of severe cold weather, during which the average temperature recorded over a period of 7 days is freezing or below. Visit www.gov.uk/cold-weather-payment
A disabled facilities grant can be claimed to cover the cost of adaptions to your home, such as a wet room or stairlift that might be needed because of your disability, to allow you to remain independently within your home.
The grant can be made whether you rent or own your home. You must have had an occupational therapist assessment before a disabled facilities grant can be claimed. An occupational therapist assessment is free of charge and can be requested by contacting Peterborough City Council, by Telephone 01733 747474, or Email email@example.com
The occupational therapist will visit you at your home to assess what adaptions are needed. Once these needs have been identified, they will work with the “Care and Repair Agency” who will apply for the Disabled Facilities Grant towards the cost of any work needed. They will also arrange a financial assessment to see if you need to contribute towards the cost of the work.
Do not start work until your grant has been approved or your application will be refused.
If you are disabled you do not have to pay VAT when you buy equipment that has been designed solely for disabled people or which has been adapted for your use. You will also not be charged VAT on certain services provided. This includes building work to adapt your home and the hire of disability equipment like wheelchairs. For more information Visit www.gov.uk/guidance/vat-relief-on-certain-goods-if-you-have-a-disability