Don’t stop paying your rent unless you are confident that you will receive full Housing Benefit. Even if the council agrees you’re eligible for Housing Benefit, you might not get enough to cover your full rent and you would still have to pay any shortfall due to your landlord. The amount of Housing Benefit you get depends on your income, the size of your home and your circumstances. You may have your Housing Benefit reduced because of the ‘bedroom tax’ or ‘benefit cap’ and just because someone you know gets full Housing Benefit does not necessarily mean that you will too.
Claims can take a long time to process and you could be left with huge rent arrears. If after 14 days you are still waiting for a decision on your claim, and you have given in all the information requested, you can ask the HB department to start making payments on account/interim payments.
If possible, try to find out approximately how much help you might be entitled to when you hand in your form. If you rent from a council or a housing association, you should ask if they have a welfare rights officer who would be able to help you.
You could contact a Shelter Cymru adviser, Citizens Advice, your local council or other local advice centre.
If you are having difficulty paying your rent and you are not sure if you will be entitled to full Housing Benefit, try to keep making payments at a level you can afford, but be sure to tell your landlord that you have claimed Housing Benefit. You could risk being evicted if you fall into rent arrears – see the section on eviction for more information.