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Housing Benefit

Who can apply for Housing Benefit

Housing benefit can help pay your rent if you are unemployed, on a low income or claiming benefits.  It has been replaced by Universal Credit for working age people.  You can only make a new claim for Housing Benefit if one of the following statements applies to you:

  • You are a single pensioner (Aged 66 or over)
  • You are a pensioner couple (Both aged 66 or over)
  • You live in temporary (homeless) accommodation provided by South Ayrshire Council.
  • You live in supported accommodation (where you receive care, support or supervision).

If you do not fall into one of the categories above, you will need to claim Universal Credit for help with your Housing Costs.

How to claim

To apply for Housing Benefit, please click the button below which will redirect you to our online application. Please note that if you are responsible for the Council Tax bill for your home, this application will also be used to assess your entitlement to Council Tax Reduction.

Claim Housing Benefit

If you experience any difficulties in making your application or require assistance, please contact a member of the team by calling 0300 123 0900 and asking for Benefit Services.

*Please note that if you are self-employed, and not in receipt of Universal Credit, we may require you to complete an additional form you can find here:

It will be used to gather details of your business, income and expenditure.  If this is required, a member of the team will be in touch.

What you'll get

You may get help with all or part of your rent.  There is no set amount of Housing Benefit and your entitlement will depend on:

  •  whether you rent privately or from the council.
  •  if you have a spare bedroom
  • your household income - including benefits, pensions, wages and savings
  • the age, disabilities or caring responsibilities of the people in your household

For an estimate of what you could be entitled to, there are independent, free and anonymous benefit calculators available online, such as the examples below.  Please note that any result you receive from these calculators are dependant on the accuracy of the information you supply and should be taken as a guide only. 

Report a change in your circumstances

You need to report all changes of circumstances for you and anyone else in your house.  Your claim might be stopped or reduced if you do not report a change of circumstances straight away.  Changes can include:

  • starting or stopping work, education, training or an apprenticeship
  • changes to the benefits you or anyone else in your house gets
  • changes to your personal or workplace pension
  • changes to your savings, investments or property
  • your income going up or down
  • moving house
  • your rent going up or down
  • going abroad for any length of time
  • going into hospital, a care home or sheltered accommodation
  • people moving into or out of your house (for example your partner, a child or lodger)
  • having a baby
  • your child turning 18
  • changes to your immigration status, if you're not a British citizen

To report a change in your circumstances, please contact a member of the team by calling 0300 123 0900 and ask for Benefit Services for further advice. 

We can also be contacted by email:

Submitting Evidence

We will, wherever possible, try to obtain the information we require from the resources we have available to us.  However, you may be asked to provide some documentary evidence when making your application or while reporting a change in your circumstances. 

To ensure safe delivery of the requested evidence, please use our Evidence Upload Form by clicking the button below:   

Upload your Evidence

If for whatever reason you are unable to do this, evidence can also be submitted by email to  or posted to Benefit Services, PO Box 31, County Buildings, Wellington Square, Ayr, KA7 1DR.

Extra help to pay your rent

You might be able to claim extra help if your Housing Benefit or Universal Credit does not cover all of your rent. 

This is called 'Discretionary Housing Payments' and more information about this can be found here.

Review of your entitlement

If you are getting Housing Benefit and/or Council Tax Reduction, the Council's Benefit Service may review your claim to ensure you are continuing to receive the correct amount of benefit and/or reduction.

If your claim is selected for review, the Benefits Service will contact you by letter or email and advise you to log into the Council's website to complete an online form.  Your letter or email will contain your claim reference number and you will need this to complete your form online.  

Completing the online form is the quickest way to confirm your current circumstances and information.  If you don't have online access, please ask a family member, friend, or where relevant a support/social worker to help you.

When you complete the online form, you will receive an acknowledgement that your form has been received.

Our staff will review your claim as quickly as possible and we will contact you if we require any additional information.

When you complete an application, we will only gather the minimum amount of information we need to review your entitlement. Full details of how we will use your data can be found on our Privacy Notice at

If you have received a letter or email advising you that Benefit Services requires to review your claim, you should now complete the online form.

What to do if you disagree with our decision

If you think a decision is wrong, you can ask us to explain or reconsider it.  You must ask us within one month of the date you were notified of our decision and explain what you think is wrong.

After looking at our decision again, we will write to you to let you know whether we think the decision is correct or whether we have changed it.

If you remain unsatisfied, you can write to the council and ask for an appeal at the first-tier tribunal.  Appeals must be made and signed by a 'Person affected', namely the claimant (or someone authorised to act on their behalf), or a landlord who receives the payment of Housing Benefit direct.

Appeals must be requested within 1 month of the decision, but may be accepted later with good reason, such as being in hospital.  The time limit for late requests is 13 months.

Where to get more information

If you are unable to find the information you are looking for online please contact benefits team for further advice on Housing Benefit and Council Tax Reduction.