When everyone has a home

Housing advice for Northern Ireland

Getting help with rates

Certain people can apply for housing benefit and rate relief to help with rates. You can only make a new claim for this assistance if you are over pension age or get certain disability benefits. People who don't fit in these categories can get only get help with rates if they are receiving Universal Credit. 

Pension age

If you are over pension age you can get help with your rates by applying for Housing Benefit. 

Getting disability benefits

You can also apply for Housing Benefit and Rate Relief if you get a severe disability premium in your benefits. You will usually get this premium if you get 

  • Income related ESA, Income Support or Income based Jobseekers Allowance AND
  • the daily living component of PIP or middle or high rate care element of DLA AND
  • noone is getting a carer's allowance, premium or carer's element of Universal Credit for you. 

Sometimes people don't know that they are getting a Severe Disability Premium, but your benefits letters should explain if you get extra money because of this premium. 

Applying for Housing Benefit and Rates Relief if you are eligible

Apply to the Housing Executive if you rent your home. When you apply for housing benefit you need to mark on the form that you also have to pay rates.  The Housing Executive will manage your claim for rates and rent together.  If you are a Co-Ownership tenant and own part of your home, you should apply to the Housing Executive for help with rates. 

If you own your home, complete the Housing Benefit/Rate Relief application form.  Make sure you read the guidance notes carefully before you fill in the form and return it to Land & Property Services.

Land & Property Services will work out whether you’re entitled to Housing Benefit or Rate Relief. If you’re having difficulties completing the form you can call Land & Property Services on 0845 300 636

Not eligible for Housing Benefit or Rates Relief

Most working-age people won't be able to make a new claim for Housing Benefit and Rate Relief. But, if you are getting Universal Credit you can apply for a different type of help with your rates. This new type of rate relief can only be paid to people who are entitled to Universal Credit, so you will need to apply for this benefit before you can get help with your rates bill.