Who can claim benefit

Housing Benefit

You can claim Housing Benefit if you are on a low income and liable to pay rent for your accommodation. You will need to pay for any part of your rent that is not covered by Housing Benefit.

Housing Benefit:

  • Can cover rent to a private landlord or to Oxford City Council, or to a hostel or guesthouse.
  • May not cover all of your rent in certain circumstances .
  • Does not normally pay for charges like food, water and personal laundry that may be part of your rent agreement.

Housing Benefit is sometimes also called Rent Allowance or Rent Rebate.

If you have savings over £16,000 you will not usually get Housing Benefit unless you are of Pension Age and receive the Guarantee Credit type of Pension Credit. 

From 18 October 2017 Universal Credit

All postcodes within the Oxford City Council boundary now fall under the full service of Universal Credit.

If you live in Oxford and want to make a new claim for Housing Benefit you will need to claim universal credit instead to help with your housing costs unless:

  • You and your partner have both reached state pension age.
  • You are receiving support from/on behalf of your landlord as part of your tenancy. Please discuss this with your support worker.
  • You are responsible for more than 3 children and have not previously received Universal Credit.
  • You are in receipt of Housing Benefit already. You will remain on Housing Benefit until you have a change in circumstances that requires a new claim for JSA(IB), ESA (IR), Tax credits* or Housing Benefit at another local authority. Some examples are losing a job, becoming sick, becoming fit for work after illness, having a first child, moving into work from unemployment or moving out of the local authority area.

*If you are getting Child Tax Credit becoming entitled to Working Tax Credit does not count as a new claim

Please see our universal credit pages for more details.

If you live outside Oxford but claim Housing Benefit from Oxford City Council because Oxford City Council is your landlord the following towns move or have moved to the full service of Universal Credit on the following dates:

  • Abingdon - 4 October 2017
  • Didcot - 11 October 2017
  • Bicester - 22 November 2017
  • Kidlington - 17 January 2018

You still need to claim Council Tax Reduction from Oxford City Council. Please complete your application as soon as possible and tell us what your income is whilst you are awaiting a decision on your Universal Credit application.

Council Tax Reduction

You may be entitled to help with your Council Tax through the Council Tax Reduction Scheme if you are on a low income, and are liable to pay Council Tax.  A reduction may mean you have less Council Tax to pay, or in some cases, mean that you are not asked to pay anything for your Council Tax whilst your circumstances remain unchanged.

If your partner is a full-time student but you are not, you may be able to claim a Council Tax Reduction.

If you have savings over £16,000 you will not usually get a Council Tax Reduction unless you are of Pension Age and receive the Guarantee Credit type of Pension Credit.

Student, Self-employed or From Abroad

If you are a student, self-employed person or a person from abroad there are different rules.