Welfare Benefits Help & Advice

We would like to help all of our tenants to maximise their income. We can assist you to apply for any welfare benefits you may be entitled to by providing specialist help and advice.

Below we outline the various welfare benefits, but if you would like more information please visit the Government’s website here or give us a call on 0161 235 6900

You can also see how much you may get when a claim is made by using this Benefits Calculator

To jump to the specific area where you need help, click a topic below:

Housing Benefit

Housing Benefit to help you pay your rent is administered by Manchester City Council, this is to assist people on low incomes. If you think you may qualify for Housing Benefit, you should contact Manchester City Council on 0161 234 5003

You can also make a claim online by clicking here

Housing Benefit is assessed by taking account of the income of everyone who lives in the property.

As a result of the removal of the ‘spare room subsidy’, commonly known as the ‘bedroom tax’, claimants will have their benefit reduced by 14% if they have a spare bedroom or 25% if they have two or more. 

Two children under 16 of the same gender are expected to share one bedroom, as are two children under 10, regardless of gender. On average, a tenant affected by the bedroom tax needs to pay between £14 and £25 a week towards their rent.

If you need assistance in making a claim we will be happy to help you with this.  The same claim will be used to calculate any Council Tax Support that you may be entitled to.

Universal Credit

Universal Credit is a single monthly welfare benefit payment for people in or out of work. It replaces some of the benefits and tax credits you might be getting now:

- Housing Benefit.

- Child Tax Credit.

- Income Support.

- Working Tax Credit.

- Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance.

- Income-related Employment and Support Allowance.

 The DWP calls these legacy benefits. You may be able to claim Universal Credit if:

- you’re out of work or on a low income

- you’re aged 18 or over

- you or your partner are under state pension age

- you and your partner have less than £16,000 in savings

- you live in the UK

There are some situations where you can claim Universal Credit if you’re 16 or 17-years-old or when you’re studying. Please contact us if you would like more information on this.

If you get help with your rent, this will be included in your monthly Universal Credit payment which goes into your bank account, you’ll then pay your rent to your landlord directly.

If you live with someone as a couple and you are both entitled to claim UC, you will get a joint payment paid into a single bank account.

UC is paid in arrears so it can take up to six weeks to get your first payment after you make your claim

There are no limits on how many hours a week you can work if you’re claiming UC. Instead, the amount you get will gradually reduce as you earn more, so you won’t lose all your benefits at once.

You can make a claim for Universal Credit by clicking here.

If you need assistance in making a claim we will be happy to help you with this.  

Council Tax Support

Council Tax Support is a council tax discount. It reduces the amount of council tax you have to pay. The size of the discount you get depends on your income.

There is a maximum discount of 75%, unless you qualify as a member of a protected group.

If you make a claim for Housing Benefit, this will automatically generate a claim for Council Tax Support.

If you make a claim for Universal Credit, you will be asked during the claim process if you want the Department of Work and Pensions to notify Manchester City Council of your claim.

If you agree, this will automatically generate a claim for Council Tax Support.

The size of your discount will depend on your income and situation. You can claim up to 100% discount on your council tax if you belong to a protected group. Protected groups are:

- pensioners

- someone with a disability who is entitled to an Enhanced or Severe Disability Premium

- lone parents responsible for one or more dependent children under five, they must not have a partner living with them

- carers eligible for Carer’s Allowance

- war widows and war pensioners, who must be in receipt of a War Widows Pension, War Disablement Pension or Armed Forces Compensation Payment

You can contact Manchester City Council Tax department by calling 0161 234 5002

If you need assistance in making a claim we will be happy to help you with this.  

Discretionary Housing Payments (DHP)

Discretionary Housing Payments are administered by Manchester City Council Housing Benefit department. You can only get it if you are entitled to Housing Benefit or the Housing Costs element of Universal Credit.

 It is available to people who are not receiving enough to cover their rent. There can be several reasons for this, for example:

- your Local Housing Allowance is lower than your rent in private rented property

- your Housing Benefit is reduced because of non-dependant deductions/housing costs contributions

- your Housing Benefit is reduced because you are working age and it has been decided that you have a spare bedroom in social rented property

- your Housing Benefit is reduced due to the Benefit Cap

Discretionary Housing Payment is also available for one-off costs like a rent deposit, rent in advance or to help with the costs of moving to a new home.

Discretionary Housing Payment cannot be used to cover an increase in rent, or pay your rent arrears or to make up the difference if an overpayment of either Housing Benefit or Universal Credit is being recovered from your entitlement.

It also can not help cover certain sanctions or reductions in benefit.

You can apply for Discretionary Housing Payment by clicking here.

If you need assistance in making a claim we will be happy to help you with this.  

Employment and Support Allowance

Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) is a welfare benefit for people of working age (16 to 64) who are unable to be in employment due to illness or disability. People who receive ESA will be placed in one of two groups – the work-related activity group, where they will be expected to seek employment, and the support group, where there is no such requirement.

ESA replaced Incapacity Benefit (IB), Income Support (claimed because of a disability) and Severe Disability Allowance. If you still receive these welfare benefits you will be reassessed for ESA. A new claim for ESA cannot not be made, claimants must claim Universal Credit.

Personal Independent Payment (PIP)

PIP replaced the Disability Living Allowance (DLA) in England and Wales in 2013. This change affects everyone with a disability between the ages of 16 and 64 who currently claim DLA.

Children under 16 will continue to receive DLA until their 16th birthday.


The Personal Independence Payment (PIP) is a benefit designed to meet the extra costs of having long-term ill-health or a disability, including daily living and mobility needs.
You can claim PIP even if you receive other benefits or you are in employment.


The DWP makes the decision about the amount of Personal Independence Payment (PIP) you get and for how long. It’s not possible to say exactly what you’ll get before you apply because the DWP bases the amount you get on your application, and the length of your award on the likelihood of your condition changing.

However, if you have a terminal illness you’ll get at least £89.15 a week, which will last for 3 years.

PIP Rates

PIP is made up of 2 components (parts) called daily living and mobility, and each can be paid at either a standard or enhanced rate.

If you have a terminal illness, you will automatically get the daily living enhanced rate. The mobility rate you get (if at all) will depend on the level of help you need with mobility.

The daily living rate is for the extra help you need with everyday tasks. This can include preparing food, washing, getting dressed or communicating with other people.

The mobility rate is for the extra help you need getting around. This can include moving, planning a journey or following a route

Attendance Allowance

Attendance Allowance is a tax free, non-means tested benefit for disabled people aged over 65 years old. The allowance is designed to meet the everyday cost of living with a disability. Attendance Allowance is paid at two different rates with the amount allocated depending on the level of support needed. It is basically PIP for those over 65 years of age.

Carer's Allowance

Carer’s Allowance is a welfare benefit for people who care for somebody with a disability for at least 35 hours a week. In order to qualify for Carer’s Allowance, the person who is being cared for must be receiving a disability related benefit (Disability Living Allowance middle or higher rate care component, Personal Independence Payment daily living component at either rate, Attendance Allowance, Constant Attendance Allowance or Armed Forces Independence Payment). 

Claimants must be aged 16 years or over, must not be in full-time education and cannot be earning more than £110 a week after deductions such as tax and national insurance.

Disabled Facilities Grant

A Disabled Facilities Grant (DFG) is a means-tested grant for people with a permanent disability of any sort – including physical and learning disabilities, sensory impairments and mental illness. A DFG will enable you to make changes to your home that will help you to continue living there.

It could be used to fund work such as:

- installing a walk-in shower

- installing a stair lift

- converting a downstairs room to an accessible toilet or bathroom

- adding ceiling track hoists

- widening doorways

- fitting hand rails

- making outside steps easier to use or installing ramps

- improving central heating, or adapting heating or lighting controls to make them easier to use.

The DFG is means-tested for people aged 18 years or over, so the amount that you could get depends on your household income and savings.

The means test looks at your income and savings together with that of your spouse or partner, if you have one. Other members of the household aren’t included.

The first £6,000 of household savings are exempted from the means test. 

Each local authority has its own policy for the means test, so we’re unable to provide precise information about the limits for income and savings. You can find out more on Manchester City Council’s web site here

The amount you can get will depend on the cost of the work that needs doing. Some people might get the total cost of adaptations paid for; others might have to contribute towards the cost.

The council must have assessed that the work is:

- necessary and appropriate to meet your needs

- reasonable and can be done, depending on the age and condition of the property.

The Benefit Cap

The Benefit Cap is a limit to the total amount of money you can get from benefits. The Benefit Cap will only apply if you get Housing Benefit or Universal Credit.

Your benefits will be reduced if you get more than the limit that applies for your circumstances - this means you'll get less Housing Benefit or Universal Credit.

The amount of money you can get in benefits before the Benefit Cap applies depends on things like:

- where you live

- if you're single

- if you have children in your household - this means they live with you and you’re responsible for them

You are exempt from the Benefit Cap if:

- You (or your partner or your child) is receiving:

- Personal Independence Payment (PIP)

-Disability Living Allowance (DLA)


You (or your partner) is receiving:

- Attendance Allowance

- Carer's Allowance

- Guardian's Allowance

- Carer's Element of Universal Credit

- Support component of Employment and Support Allowance

- Limited Capability for Work Related Activity (LCWRA) element of Universal Credit

- Armed Forces Compensation Scheme Payments

- Armed Forces Independence Payment

- Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit

- War Disablement Pension

- War Widow's or Widower's Pension


You (or your partner) qualify for but do not receive Carer's Allowance:

- You are claiming Universal Credit and you (and your partner) earn at least the amount you would get for 16 hours per week on National Living Wage

- You are claiming Housing Benefit and you (and your partner) work enough hours to qualify for Working Tax Credit

- You (or your partner) are over Pension Credit age


If you are claiming Universal Credit, the Benefit Cap will not be applied for a 9 month grace period if:

- You (and your partner) earned at least the amount you would get for 16 hours per week at National Living Wage for the previous 12 months

- If you are claiming Housing Benefit, the Benefit Cap will not be applied for a 39 week grace period if:

- You (or your partner) were working for at least 50 out of the previous 52 weeks, and

- Whilst you (or your partner) were working, you were not entitled to Income Support, Jobseeker's Allowance (JSA) or Employment and Support Allowance (ESA).

* All figures correct as of 29 April 2021

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