Housing Benefit can help you pay your rent if you're unemployed, on a low income or claiming benefits. It's being replaced by Universal Credit.

You can only make a new claim for Housing Benefit if either of the following apply:

  • you have reached State Pension age
  • you're in supported, sheltered or temporary housing

You may get help to pay your rent through Housing Benefit, which is means tested, if you have a tenancy and your capital is below a certain level.

Difference between Housing Benefit and Local Housing Allowance

  • Housing Benefit (HB) is help towards your Falkirk Council or Registered Social Landlord / Housing Association rent
  • Local Housing Allowance (LHA) is help towards the rent you are due to pay to your private landlord

If you make a claim for any of the above and are due to pay Council Tax then we will also assess your entitlement to Council Tax Reduction (CTR), Second Adult Rebate (SAR) or Enhanced Council Tax Reduction (ECTR).

It may take over 30 minutes to fill in the "Apply for benefits" form so we recommend you register and log into My Falkirk first. This will allow you to save the form and come back to it later if you need to.

Any benefit you get will be detailed on your notification letter and if you rent from us, you will also receive an amended rent bill. If you also get CTR then this will be shown on your amended Council Tax Bill. Benefit normally starts from the Monday following the date you contacted us to apply, or the Monday following the date we received your application, whichever is the earlier.

In most cases we are unable to backdate benefit, so the sooner you contact us the sooner you can get help to pay your rent. You must tell us immediately if there is a change in your circumstances.

When you apply, you will need to give us:

  • Proof of your identity from an original document
  • Details of all the people living with you
  • Details of all income, savings and state benefits you, your partner (if you have one) and any non-dependants living with you get

If you have over £16,000 in savings, you will not be entitled to help unless you receive the guaranteed part of Pension Credit. If you are under pension age, we ignore the first £6,000 of your savings. For every £250 you have over that amount, we count £1 per week as income.

If you are of pension age, we ignore the first £10,000 of your savings. For every £500 over that amount, we count £1 per week as income.

Supporting documents

Submit any documents you have been asked to supply using our online form.

You can currently use the form to submit documents for the following services:

  • Housing Benefit/Discretionary Housing Payment
  • Council Tax
  • Free School Meals and School Clothing Grants
  • Education Maintenance Allowance

Frequently asked questions

  1. How do you calculate my HB / LHA / CTR?
  2. How do I report someone claiming financial help they are not entitled to?

How do you calculate my HB / LHA / CTR?

The regulations are different depending on your age. There are 2 calculation booklets:

They include information on:

  • Maximum weekly eligible Rent and Council Tax
  • Local Housing Allowance (LHA) for private sector tenants
  • Non-dependant deductions
  • Total allowances and premiums (applicable amount)
  • Income - earned and unearned including disregarded income
  • Capital - savings, investments, property
  • The final calculation
  • Discretionary Housing Payment (if you get HB/LHA but still have some rent to pay)
  • How to request a review of our decision
  • How to tell us about a change in circumstances

If you rent from a private landlord, for more information, visit our Local Housing Allowance (LHA) page.

If you would like any more information, please email revenues1@falkirk.gov.uk or call us on 01324 506070.

How do I report someone claiming financial help they are not entitled to?

Visit our Fraud page to report it.