Apply for Housing Benefit and Rate Relief as a homeowner

If you’re a homeowner finding it difficult to pay your rates bill or you think you might be entitled to help paying your rates, you should apply immediately for Housing Benefit and Rate Relief. You can apply for help before you receive a rates bill from Land & Property Services (LPS).

Claiming Housing Benefit and Rate Relief

To claim as a homeowner, you must send an application form along with supporting evidence to LPS. They’ll assess your application. 

Receiving Universal Credit

You can't claim Housing Benefit and Rate Relief if you're receiving Universal Credit. You need to apply for Rate Rebate to get help paying your rates. 

Assessing your claim for Housing Benefit and Rate Relief

Housing Benefit and Rate Relief are means-tested. When you apply, you need to include information about your weekly income and household circumstances.

When assessing your claim, LPS will check you’re an eligible homeowner and that you supplied evidence with your application form.

When a claim starts

A benefit week runs from Monday to Sunday. When you apply, your claim will start on the Monday following the date LPS receives your form. If your claim is successful, you’ll receive help with your rates in full or in part. 

Housing Benefit and Rate Relief application form

You can download an application form:

You can also ask LPS for a form:

Land & Property Services
Housing Benefit Central Unit
Queen's Court
56-66 Queen Street
Belfast
BT1 6FD

You can get a form in any Jobs and Benefits office or Social Security office.

Homeowners applying for other benefits or allowances

If you have a low income and apply for certain social security benefits or allowances, any Jobs and Benefits office or Social Security Agency can give you an application form for Housing Benefit and Rate Relief.

You need to return your application form to any Jobs and Benefits office or Social Security Agency. They’ll send  your form to LPS if you’re awarded a social security benefit.

Making a claim by telephone

If you’re eligible for Pension Credit or Employment and Support Allowance and make your claim by telephone, you can apply for Housing Benefit and Rate Relief by telephone at the same time.

Backdated claims for Housing Benefit and Rate Relief

Claiming if you’re a pensioner

If you’ve reached State Pension age, your claim is automatically dated three months earlier than the date you applied. You cannot make a backdated claim for help with your rates, unless LPS or another government office made a mistake when assessing your benefits.

Claiming if you’re below State Pension age

If you are working-age and delayed claiming help with your rates, you can ask LPS to backdate your claim for one month. But you need to show good cause why you didn't claim sooner. To ask for a backdated claim, you must:

  • send a written request to LPS
  • give the date when you think your claim should start
  • give reasons that cover the entire period you want considered for backdating

To  ask for a backdated claim, you can use your application form or write to LPS by email or post:

More useful links


 

 

 

 

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