Housing Benefits

Universal Credit and Housing Benefit

If you need help with your housing payments, you should apply for Universal Credit on GOV.UK.

Some people may be entitled to Housing Benefit instead. This includes people who

  • are of state pension age
  • live in supported accommodation (hostels or sheltered housing)
  • live in temporary accommodation provided by Maidstone Council

To apply for Housing Benefit you will need to complete our online form using the link below.

Apply for housing benefits

If you have any problems with completing the online form, please contact us on 01622 602557

The online form will also work out if you're entitled to Council Tax Support.

If you do not have all the evidence you can send the form in first and then upload the proof later.

What is Housing Benefit

Housing Benefit helps you pay your rent if you are on a low income. The amount of housing benefit you get is worked out by looking at:

  • how much money you have coming in;
  • your circumstances and the amount of rent you have to pay
  • the amount of savings you have. You need to have less than £16,000 savings to qualify. But you may have more savings than this and still get Housing Benefit if you or your partner get the guaranteed part of Pension Credit

Use the Benefit Calculator to see what help you can get.

Who is Housing Benefit for?


Housing Benefit is for:

  • people who pay rent, and have a low income, including those who work or are self-employed.
  • tenants living in a council property, housing association property, privately rented property (the allowance for these tenants is known as Local Housing Allowance and the rates are set separately) and hostels.

You cannot get housing benefit if:

  • you own your own home and pay a mortgage
  • have a higher income
  • have more than £16,000 in savings (unless you claim guaranteed pension credit)

If you think you fit our criteria use our Benefit Calculator to see what help you can get. If you rent privately please check your Local Housing Allowance before using the Benefit Calculator.

Evidence Required


We need to see the documents that prove you need benefit before we can pay you. They can either be originals or copies.

You can send them to us using our online form or by post to:

Maidstone House
King Street
ME15 6JQ

Evidence you need to provide:

  • National Insurance numbers for you and your partner. Your partner needs to be someone you’re married to or living with as though you’re married.
  • Identity for you and your partner. For example a passport or driving licence.
  • Capital, savings and investments, including all bank and building society current and savings accounts.
  • Earnings of everyone living with you, including your partner and anyone else over 18.
  • Any other income.
  • Benefits, allowances or pensions.
  • Proof of rent liability (tenancy agreement).

If you do not get the evidence to us within a month we may not be able to pay you any benefit. Just tell us if you’re having problems getting your evidence together and we can help. Contact us online or call 01622 602557.

Appeal a Decision


If you're not satisfied with our decision or how we have explained our decision, you can appeal.

You must appeal in writing and send your appeal to:

Maidstone House
King Street
ME15 6JQ

You need to make it clear which decision you are appealing against and your reasons why. You need to do this within a month of the decision you are appealing against.

We will write to let you know the decision made after receiving your appeal. If you still do not agree with our decision your appeal will be heard by a tribunal run by the Independent Tribunals Service.



An overpayment happens when we pay you or your landlord an amount of Housing Benefit which you weren’t entitled to. If we have paid you too much benefit, we will usually ask you to pay back the amount we have overpaid.

You need to tell us of any changes in your circumstances, to prevent any overpayments.

We will send you a letter giving you the full details of the overpayment. The letter will tell you why the overpayment happened, the amount you were overpaid and the period of the overpayment. It will also tell you how we intend to recover the overpayment and what to do if you disagree.

How is the overpayment paid back?

  • if you are still getting Housing Benefit, we may reduce your payments to recover the overpayment
  • if we are not paying your Housing Benefit, we may send you a bill and you should make arrangements to pay us
  • if we paid your landlord your benefit then, in certain circumstances, we may ask the landlord to repay the overpayment
  • we can ask your employer to set up an attachment to your earnings
  • we can ask the Department for Works and Pensions to take money out of other benefits you might receive to collect the overpayment
  • in cases where you have moved out of the area, we can take money from any housing benefit paid to you by another council
  • you may be sent a bill. You will be able to pay online or by calling our automated payments line on 01622 602544 and choose 5

Direct earnings attachments

If you have an overpayment

Local Authorities have been given the power to recover overpaid Housing Benefit by taking deductions from your earnings without the need to apply for a court order. This is known as a direct earning attachment (DEA), if you want to find out more about DEA's view our guides below.

Claimant guidance

If you're an employer

You have a legal obligation unless you are a new business. In such cases you are not obliged to operate a DEA although you may do so.

Employer guidance

If you fail to comply with your duties, you could be subject, on conviction, to a fine of up to £1000.

Local Housing Allowance


What is Local Housing Allowance?

If you are a tenant renting a property or room from a private landlord and you are on a low income, you may be able to claim and receive Local Housing Allowance (LHA).

The LHA rate that applies to you will last for one year.

How do I find out my LHA rate?

The weekly LHA Rates are:

Number of BedroomsMaidstoneMedway/Swale

Shared Room Rate



One Bedroom



Two Bedrooms



Three Bedrooms



Four Bedrooms



There are two areas for people that live in Maidstone. They are ‘Maidstone’ and ‘Medway/Swale’.

To find out which area applies to you enter your post code on the GOV.UK website.

If you are single, under 35 and living alone you are entitled to LHA at the shared room rate even if you may be living in a one-bedroom property.

When working out what your LHA is you can claim one bedroom for:

  • each couple
  • two children of the same sex under 16
  • two children under 10 regardless of sex
  • other person aged 16 or over
  • an external overnight carer (evidence will need to be provided for this)



Before we speak to a landlord about any benefits we need the tenant’s permission. The tenant will need to fill in an Authority to Discuss form to give us permission.

If they give us permission

We can tell the landlord about the progress of the tenant’s claim, whether we have made a decision, if we have awarded benefit and when we are sending out any payment. We won’t tell any landlord the personal details of a claimant.

If they don’t give us permission

We cannot tell the landlord anything.

What we can tell you if we pay you

We will write to tell a landlord when we start or stop paying them direct. If we pay the landlord, we can tell them:

  • The date benefit started and ended.
  • The weekly amount of benefit and how often we pay. If there is a shortfall, it is up to you to collect the rent your tenant owes you.
  • The amount we are taking direct from benefit to recover any overpayment.

If the tenant has asked for payments direct to the landlord but we can't pay the claim because we don't have all the details, we will not tell the landlord we can't pay unless we have the tenant's written permission.

Direct Payment

If your tenant is in arrears by eight weeks or more you can ask for the payments to be made direct to you. You will need to provide a rent statement proving the tenant is in arrears.

The money will be paid straight into your bank account every four weeks in arrears. If you have several tenants on benefit we will combine all the payments into one. You will be able to view a list of payment details for each tenant.