If you are unemployed or on a low income you may be entitled to financial help to pay your rent. To make sure you are getting what you are entitled to contact your local benefits office, Job Centre, Citizen Advice Bureau or the Northern Ireland Housing Executive. You can also check your entitlement by logging on to www.turn2us.org.uk.
To apply for housing benefit you should submit a completed housing benefit form in person to NIHE office. Housing Benefit claim forms are available for collection from Harmony Homes (NI) office. Remember to get a receipt for your application which should be brought to Harmony Homes (NI) office.
You should be aware that housing benefit can only be backdated to the date that the form is received by the Northern Ireland Housing Executive. It is therefore essential that you do not wait until you have all the information, but go ahead and hand in the signed form. The other details needed to process your application can be handed in shortly after or as requested by the Housing Benefit office.
When you apply for Housing Benefit you will need:
Proof of you and your partner’s identity.
You must show one of the following documents –
• Northern Ireland Driving Licence (Current and Valid)
• Current passport
• Electoral Identity Card
If you do not have these documents you will need to produce two or more of the following –
• Benefit Payment book
• Birth Certificate (either long or short)
• Credit Card
• Divorce or annulment Papers
• Home Office Standard Acknowledgement Letters SAL1 or SAL 2
• Identity Card issued by a European Union or European Economic Area State
• Life Assurance or Insurance policies
• Marriage Certificate
• Medical Card
• UK residency permit
• Gas, electricity, telephone or rates bill issued in the last quarter and in your name
• Wage slips from a current employer
If you are unable to produce the required evidence you should contact your local District Office who will advise you on other ways to prove your identity.
Proof of your address
Such as a recent gas or electricity bill or TV licence.
Evidence of National Insurance Numbers
Such as a National Insurance card, payslips or letters from the Social Security Agency or Inland Revenue.
Evidence of capital, savings and investments
They need to see documents such as:
• Statements and books which show bank account details for at least the last three months.
• Certificates for things like Premium Bonds, National or Ulster Savings Certificates, ISA’s, stocks, shares and unit trusts.
• Documents that confirm ownership or part ownership of property.
Evidence of your earnings
If you are employed, you will need to supply your last 5 weekly, 3 fortnightly or 2 monthly payslips.
Evidence of other income
Such as occupational pension, letter from a court showing maintenance or letters about student grants or loans.
Evidence of benefits, allowances, pensions
Such as current award notices or letters from the Social Security or Inland Revenue.
Evidence of other money paid out.
Such as letters about student grants and receipts from registered child minders.
Evidence of private rent and tenancy
Either your certificate of occupation completed by your landlord or your tenancy agreement together with either your rent book or rent receipts.
You must always provide original documents.
You must also:
• Regularly check the progress of your claim. Regular contact will make sure your claim is processed quickly.
• Provide any information asked for by the housing benefit office immediately.
• Let the housing benefit office and the housing officer know straight away of any changes to your finances or household.