How to apply for Housing Benefit

If you are able to claim Housing Benefit, you can apply for help with your rent in a number of ways. The most efficient way is to apply online. This is the Council's preferred method of application. 

If you have made a claim for, or you are already receiving Universal Credit, you cannot make a claim for Housing Benefit, unless you live in specified accommodation or certain types of temporary homeless accommodation as your housing costs should be taken into account as part of your Universal Credit calculation.

Sefton is now classed as a Universal Credit full service area. This means that most working age customers cannot make a new application for Housing Benefit (unless they fall into one of the exceptions categories). If you do not fall into one of the exception categories, any help with rent, must be met through Universal Credit instead.

Claim online

The application form is responsive to the questions you answer and will only ask the questions that are required by legislation and that are relevant to your circumstances.

It is important that you answer the questions completely and accurately, if the information is incorrect or incomplete it may take longer to sort out your claim.

You can also complete a trial calculation to see what benefit you may be entitled to.  This is the fastest and easiest way to submit your claim.
Please ensure that you have the following details available before you start the application process:

  • Details of all your household members and income
  • The full details of your rental liability, the property(number of rooms), your landlord's and/or agent's name, address and postcode
  • If you are employed, you will need the full details of your income received along with your employer's name, address and postcode
  • If there is any additional information you want to tell us about, you can include the details in the 'other information' option near the end of the application form.

Please note that, in order to comply with data security requirements, any incomplete forms that are not submitted within 14 days of the date that they are started, will automatically be deleted from the system. You would then need to start a new application if you still wish to make a claim for Housing Benefit. It is your responsibility to ensure that claim forms are submitted in time.


You can complete an application form at all of the following Council offices:

Sefton One Stop Shop Offices (open Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm)

  • Bootle One Stop Shop, 324 - 342 Stanley Road, Bootle, L20 3ET
  • Southport One Stop Shop, Cambridge Arcade, Southport, PR9 1DA

You can now submit evidence to support your claim to the following libraries:

  • Crosby Library, Crosby Road North, Waterloo L22 0LQ
  • Formby Library, Duke Street, Formby, L37 4AN
  • Meadows (Maghull) Library, Hall Lane, Maghull, L31 7BB
  • Netherton Library, Glovers Lane, Netherton, L30 3TL
  • Southport Library, Lord Street, Southport, PR8 1DJ

Tenants of any of the following Housing Associations can submit evidence in support of their claim directly to the Housing Association*.

  • One Vision Housing
  • Riverside Housing Association
  • Jigsaw Housing Association
  • Crosby Housing Association
  • Regenda Housing Association

If you are a tenant of any of these Housing Associations, you should contact them directly for details of where forms can be submitted. 

*The Housing Associations listed above can accept the claims from its tenants on behalf of and by agreement with the council. This agreement exists for the convenience of the tenant. However, the council remain responsible for the processing, calculation and payment of any Housing Benefit you are entitled to. Any questions relating to claims submitted directly to the Housing Association should be directed to Sefton Council.

You must provide evidence of the rent you have to pay in the form of a tenancy agreement and / or a rent statement from your landlord.

If you receive any state benefits or Tax Credits, you must provide evidence of this. This is usually your notification/award letter from the Department for Work and Pensions or HMRC (depending on which benefit / Tax Credit you receive).

If you are working, please provide 5 consecutive weekly payslips, 3 consecutive fortnightly payslips or 2 consecutive monthly payslips.

If you are self-employed you must provide details of your business income and expenditure.

If you are under the qualifying age for Pension Credit* your claim can only be backdated for a maximum of one month. However, you have to show "good cause" as to why your claim should be backdated including why you did not make a claim for benefit at the relevant time.

If you have reached the qualifying age for Pension Credit* your claim may only backdated for a maximum of three months. However, there is no requirement to show "good cause".

Your request for backdating must be made by completing an online Request for Backdating form.

* The qualifying age for pension credit is the age that you first qualify for your state pension.

If you want to find out if you will qualify for help with your rent, you can:

  • Use the 'Check your eligibility' link here 
  • Contact the Council's Benefit take up and Liaison Officer on 0151 934 3946 who will assist you further.

To sign up for online notification letters, go to the View your claim and letters section here, choose 'Register for online letters' and enter your details. You will need your current claim reference to do this.

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