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Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council

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Claiming Housing Benefit for two homes

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Housing Benefit is normally paid on the home you live in. There are certain times when it is unavoidable to pay rent on two homes and in these cases we may be able to pay benefit on both. 

Requesting Housing Benefit for two homes

To request Housing Benefit for two homes you can apply online or call us as soon as possible on 01642 393829.

 

Absence through fear of violence

The fear of violence can be from someone living in the home you are absent from, or outside it if it is from someone who used to live in your home.

The maximum we can pay for both homes is 52 weeks.

We can only pay on both homes if:

  • It is reasonable to do so, the renting of two homes could not be avoided and
  • You intend to return to live in your former home. If you do not intend to return to your former home we may only pay benefit at that home for a maximum of 4 weeks after you left.

 

Students and Trainees

If you, or your partner is a student, and you are eligible for Housing Benefit, you can apply for Housing Benefit on two homes if you are studying away from your home. There is no time limit.

We can only pay on both homes if:

  • It is reasonable to do so and
  • You could not avoid living in two homes.

 

Large Families

If you have been housed in two homes by Stockton Council due to the size of your family we will take into account the rent charged for both homes.

Although both homes must have been provided by Stockton Council - we do not have to own them.

If you have found your own homes you may not get help with rent on both homes. You should contact us as soon as possible.

 

Overlapping rents

If you have moved and you are charged rent at both your old and new home we may pay benefit on both homes for a maximum of 4 weeks.

To qualify for Housing Benefit on two homes due to overlapping rent the following must apply:

  • You must have moved into your new home. Housing Benefit is normally only paid from the date you moved in so you should move into your new home straight away. We can only award Housing Benefit before the date you move in in special cases and 
  • It could not be avoided that you pay rent at both homes. Most moves can be planned in advance but there may be reasons why you needed to move quickly (e.g. your new home is specially adapted for a disability).

We will need confirmation from your landlord at your previous address of the date you have been charged rent to. 

 

Housing Benefit for your period of notice

We may pay benefit for a period of notice even if you do not pay rent at your new home. If the liability to pay rent on your old home could not reasonably have been avoided and you gave notice as soon as you were aware that you would not be returning, we may pay benefit for a maximum of 4 weeks.

Some examples are:

  • You have been admitted temporarily into a nursing or residential home and the decision has been made to remain permanently
  • You have been admitted unexpectedly to hospital on a permanent basis
  • You have been sentenced to a custodial term of more than 13 weeks

In these cases there was no opportunity to give notice on your former home. However, the 13 week limit when benefit can be paid while temporarily absent cannot be exceeded.

 

Help and Advice from other agencies