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Applying for help with housing costs or council tax reduction

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

Check if you need to apply for universal credit to get help with housing costs

Universal credit is being introduced and will replace housing benefit. To find out if you should apply for universal credit instead, check if your postcode is in the universal credit full-service area.

Apply for universal credit now.

Find out more information about universal credit.

If you are applying for universal credit you no longer have to call the DWP as part of the application. You will be called by the DWP if they need to check any of the information provided as part of the claim.

Council tax reduction

Universal credit does not cover council tax reduction, so you still need to apply for a council tax reduction through us.

Housing benefit

You can only claim housing benefit if one of these apply:

  • you are of state pension age
  • you live in supported accommodation
  • you live in temporary accommodation provided by Lewisham Council

Apply for housing benefit or council tax reduction

Create an online benefit account before you apply. If you do not have an online benefit account, please just fill out the form using the link below.

If you already have an account, you can still access your account to complete forms and view your personalised benefit information.

If you live in supported, exempt or temporary accommodation

If you live in supported, exempt or temporary accommodation provided by the council you need to:

Check your entitlement to housing benefit

Documents we need to see

See a list of documents we need to see when we process your application.

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