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Housing benefit

Housing benefit is a scheme to help people pay their rent to us, a housing association or a private landlord.
Universal Credit this year

Every five to six years, the calendar makes it so we have 53 Mondays instead of the usual 52. This coming financial year, 2024 / 2025, is one of those special years.

If you get Universal Credit, the Department for Work and Pensions will only pay for 52 weeks of your rent in a year. In a 53 week financial year, this means there will be one week of rent that will not be covered by Universal Credit.

Find out what we're doing to help and what to do if you're affected and already struggling with the cost of living.

Could you be better off?

Use the calculator to find out what extra help you are entitled to, and apply. Get advice on debt, budgeting, jobs and childcare.

Go to BetterOff Lewisham

Applying for housing benefit

Find out how to apply, and whether you have to claim universal credit instead.

Changes in circumstances

You must tell us about any change in your circumstance that may affect your housing benefit entitlement.

View your benefit account online

You can keep track of your benefit payments online.

What affects your claim

See how savings, earnings and the people you live with may affect how much housing benefit you receive.

Disputing decisions

What to do if you disagree with our decisions.


Claimants who have more bedrooms than they need will have a percentage restriction applied to their eligible rent.

Local housing allowance

The local housing allowance (LHA) provides housing benefit for private tenants.

Discretionary housing payments

Apply for a discretionary housing payment if you need extra help to cover your housing costs.

Backdating claims

For your claim to be backdated we must be satisfied that you have a good reason for failing to claim earlier.

Service standards

What you can expect from us and what you can do if we do not deliver the standard of service we have agreed to provide.


An overpayment is an amount of housing benefit that has been paid, but for which there was no entitlement under the regulations.

How to send us evidence

​Information about how to send us the evidence we need concerning your housing benefit claim or a change in circumstances.