If you are facing difficulties paying your rent, either because your income is low or you have had to stop work you may be entitled to receive Housing Benefit towards your rent.
If you think that you may be entitled, you should complete a Housing Benefit application form also available from our office and return it to either ourselves or the Council Offices at Rosebery Place, Clydebank. Our staff can help you complete a form.
It is worthwhile making an application even if you are unsure whether you are eligible. The amount of Housing Benefit you will get will depend on your income and your family circumstances.
The Bedroom tax that was introduced in 2013, affects those tenants who are under-occupying a tenancy and are getting assistance in paying their rent either through Housing Benefit or Universal Credit. If you have 1 additional bedroom your HB or the rent element of UC will be reduced by 14%, and if you have 2 spare bedrooms then this will result in a 25% reduction. To offset this the Scottish Government, through West Dunbartonshire Council, continues to provide discretionary housing payments, (DHP), to cover the shortfall. This payment has to be applied for separately and for those on UC they must also complete a Council Tax benefit form. This payment will continue for as long as the Scottish Government and West Dunbartonshire Council fund DHP. If however this funding stops then those tenants who are under-occupying and receiving benefits will have to make up the shortfall.
If you think you will be affected by the Housing Benefit cut you can downsize to a smaller home. Moving house to a new property with the right number of bedrooms for you means you won't be affected by the cut and HomeSwapper can help you find a swap with someone who needs somewhere bigger to live.
For more information on the Welfare Reform Act you can visit:
Direct Gov - Directgov Benefits adviser
During November 2016 the Government introduced a benefit cap. Any families whose total income/benefits add up to over £20,000 per year will be affected and may lose some benefit entitlement.