My daughter struggled a lot when she was saving up for a deposit on her first home. She tried her best to portion her paycheque between savings, daily costs, and rent; but there were times when she couldn’t stretch the value of her money. So when she asked me for advice on how to make ends meet, I advised her to try applying for a housing benefit.
Who is allowed to receive housing benefit?
I think it’s a pretty common misconception that you have to be unemployed to receive housing benefit. This is not true. In fact, anyone who pays rent for their residence can claim benefit. Even those who live in hostels, bed and breakfast accommodations, as well as boarders and lodgers can also file a claim for housing benefit.
Not everyone is allowed to enjoy this benefit, unfortunately. The government denies applications from: people who have a capital of £16,000; renters who pay rent to a close relative; certain persons living abroad; people who have recently sold their home and are now renting the same property from a private landlord; and single students.
How do you apply for housing benefit?
Aspiring recipients can file an application to the Housing Executive. Just fill out an application form and pass it together with additional requirements like proof of identity and other employment certificates.
How much will you receive from the government?
The housing benefit you’ll receive depends on the rent you’re paying. Suppose you’re renting from a private landlord and the government thinks that the rent is higher than the average rate; then the amount you’ll receive may be lower than the price of your rent. It may also be reduced if the claimant is below 35 years old and living alone or when the claimant is living with someone 18 years old and above.
The claimant’s personal circumstances and outstanding overpayments are 2 other factors which may also determine the amount of benefit an applicant will receive.
People who claim for housing benefit normally use the amount to pay for their rent, but it can also be applied to other service charges of your accommodation. But keep in mind that these other costs do not include meal costs, fuel charges, and cleaning expenses.
What are the duties of people receiving housing benefit?
I’ve mentioned earlier that the personal circumstances can impact the amount you will receive. That’s why you’ll have to notify the concerned authorities immediately when:
- A resident of your household moves out or returns again, whether it be your spouse or a child
- Someone in your household gets laid off, hired, or asked to report for fewer hours at work
- Someone in your household stops receiving other financial aids from the government like Child Benefit or Carer’s Allowance
- A resident or all of the occupants go to other countries, get imprisoned, or move to a nursing home
First time home buyers need all the help they can get not only in buying. There’s no harm in asking for help from time to time. If the government is willing to extend assistance, then it’s best to grab hold of it.Tags: applying for a housing benefit, buying houses, first time home buyers, housing benefit, saving up for a deposit on her first home