Housing Benefit (including Local Housing Allowance)

Local Housing Allowance (LHA)

Local Housing Allowance (LHA) has been designed to be a fairer and simpler way of working out housing benefit for people on low income. The scheme changes the way the maximum amount of benefit allowed is worked out and how it is paid.

What is Housing Benefit?

From April 2013 onwards, the Government has changed some of the Local Housing Allowance rules that affect the amount that the Council can pay. Please click to go the Latest Benefits and Changes News page

It is a government scheme administered by Powys County Council. The aim of the scheme is to help people on low income pay their rent.

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Who can claim for Housing Benefit?

Basic qualifying conditions:

  • You or any partner must be liable to pay rent in respect of accommodation, occupied by you and any household members as your home
  • You and any partner have low income. It does not matter if you are in work or not
  • You and any partner do not have savings/investments above the legal limit, which may apply to your case
  • You and any partner have provided us with details to confirm your NINo and Identity

If you are a full-time student, you cannot claim HB unless you are disabled, deaf or have a dependent child. You cannot claim HB if you live with, and pay rent to a close relative.

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How to Claim Housing benefit

You will need to complete our HB claim form. Please do not delay returning your completed claim, as benefit is normally not backdated.

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Help and Advice

Further information on HB and/or help to complete the HB claim form can be obtained from our customer services. Click here for contact details.

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Where to Return Completed Benefit Form

Please return your completed HB claim form to any of our offices.  Click here for contact details. 

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How long will it take to Make a decision on Your claim?

We aim to make a decision regarding your HB entitlement within 14 days of receiving all necessary information.

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Amount of Housing benefit

When deciding your HB entitlement we must have regard to:

  • The amount and type of income received
  • The amount of any capital held [i.e. savings/investments]
  • Any dependent childrenAny members of the household who are disabled
  • Anyone else other than members of the household who live in the home
  • The "eligible rent" figure

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Maximum Housing Benefit Award

The weekly maximum HB award cannot exceed the “eligible rent” figure, which may be less than your contractual rent.

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Housing Benefit Payments

If you are a council tenant – HB payments are credited to your rent account to reduce your rent liability. If you are a private sector tenant – we currently pay HB by crossed cheque and by BACs.

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Changes in Circumstance

If you are awaiting the outcome of your HB claim or you are receiving HB you must tell us immediately, in writing, of any changes in your circumstances, which might affect your HB claim.  Examples of changes that should be notified are as follows:

  • If your entitlement to income support, jobseekers’ allowance or pension credit ends
  • any change in the type or amount of your income [or that of your partner if you have one]
  • any change in your savings or capital
  • if any child leaves school
  • any person joins or leaves your household
  • any other change that may affect your benefit with us

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Discretionary Housing Payments

DHPs are payments to help people with their housing costs. They are only awarded if your circumstances are exceptional.

Housing costs mean rent and council tax. These payments are in addition to Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit, although you must be getting one or both of those benefits to be able to receive a DHP. The DHP fund is cash-limited. If you wish to apply for a DHP, you must complete the form and provide as much information as possible. Please note that we cannot help with some parts of your rent, for instance if meals, heating, lighting, hot water or water rates are included.

Discretionary Housing Payment Claim form

215 K

If you disagree with the decision?

If you disagree with any decision we have made in respect of your HB claim, you can ask us to look at it again. Your request must be made in writing, within one calendar month from the date of the disputed HB decision letter. If we do not change our decision you have the right of appeal to an Independent Tribunal.

Click to lodge a dispute/appeal

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Welsh Speaking Contact Details

Cerys Allen

Telephone: 01938 551360

Address:
Corporate & Democratic Support Services
Neuadd Maldwyn
Severn Road
Welshpool
Powys
SY21 7AS

View official contact details for this service

Welsh Speaking Contact Details

Cerys Allen

Telephone: 01938 551360

Address:
Corporate & Democratic Support Services
Neuadd Maldwyn
Severn Road
Welshpool
Powys
SY21 7AS

View official contact details for this service