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The current processing time for new applications and changes to benefit claims is an average of 6 weeks.

If you contact us with a general enquiry online we will reply to you within two working days.

You can only make a new claim for Housing Benefit if you meet one of the following criteria: 

  • You are single and of state pension credit qualifying age, or
    Part of a couple and are both of state pension credit qualifying age, or
    Part of a couple and been continuously receiving Pension Credit since at least 14/05/19
    You can find your Pension Credit qualifying age using Check your State Pension age  Opens in a new window
  • Qualify for the severe disability premium  Opens in a new window and receiving Income Support, Employment Support Allowance, Jobseekers Allowance or Housing Benefit or one of these benefits has ended in the last month
  • Live in supported accommodation
  • Have been placed in temporary accommodation by the Local Authority

If not you need to claim Universal Credit  Opens in a new window  for help with paying your rent.

Your appeal cannot be accepted if you appeal 13 months or more after the date on the decision letter.

If you make an appeal outside of the one month deadline but less than 13 months after we sent notifications to you, your appeal is considered to be late.

A late appeal may not be accepted unless there are special circumstances for the delay.

This could be something like:

  • A death
  • A serious illness
  • Absence abroad
  • A postal strike
  • Some other special circumstance which prevented you from making an appeal on time

You should explain why you could not appeal in time on the appeal form.

We will look at the reasons you have given for not appealing in time and consider whether the delay is justified.