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If you are of pension age you may be entitled to Housing Benefit to help pay your rent if you rent your home and your income and savings are below a certain level.

From 27 January 2021, if you are entitled to a Severe Disability Premium you can no longer make a new claim for Housing Benefit. If you are of working age you will need to apply for Universal Credit for help with your housing costs.

We cannot accept any new applications for Housing Benefit unless you are of pension age. You can still apply for a Council Tax Reduction even if you do not qualify for Housing Benefit.

Housing Benefit is largely funded by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and administered by us on behalf of the government. It is strictly controlled to make sure that benefit is paid to those in real need.

Don’t delay - if you think you will qualify apply now or you may lose out.

How to apply

You can download the Housing and Council Tax Benefit application form (PDF 480Kb) or obtain a form and further advice by calling the Housing Benefit section or visiting any of our Customer Service Centres.

We will ask you to provide evidence of both you and your partner’s National Insurance number and identity as well as proof of your household income and savings. If you are entitled to certain state benefits we may not need to verify your details because this will already have been done by the DWP.

Change of circumstances

If your circumstances change you must inform us immediately by completing the online form below.

Change of circumstances online form

If you are receive state benefits, you must also tell the Department for Work and Pensions.

Typical examples of changes in circumstances are as follows:

  • If you change address
  • If your rent changes (Housing Benefit only - but not if you are a Council tenant)
  • If the number of people living with you changes
  • If your income or the income of any other member of your household changes
  • If you stop getting Income Support,  Income based Jobseeker’s Allowance or Employment Support Allowance
  • If your income or savings change

If you delay in advising us about a change in your circumstances you will have to repay any benefits we overpay you.

For more information see the Overpayments page.


If you are a council or housing association tenant we will pay the benefit direct to your rent account or to the housing association.

If you are a private tenant we will pay you by BACS transfer into your bank account. In some circumstances we may make payment direct to your landlord.

For further information see our Local Housing Allowance page.

Benefit is normally awarded from the Monday following the date your application is received by us.


A rent rebate of up to 100% may be available, although restrictions may apply if you rent a property  which is larger than we consider you and your family need.

Housing Benefit does not cover mortgage interest payments, fuel costs or some service charges, however, if you rent from a private landlord you may be eligible for Local Housing Allowance

Frequently asked questions

For further information see our Frequently Asked Questions page.

Contact Information

Benefits Section
John Dickie Street
East Ayrshire
Telephone: 01563 554400