Housing Benefit assistance for victims of domestic or racial violence

There are special Housing Benefit rules to help you if you're the victim of, or in fear of, violence.

Violence does not have to occur, the rules apply if you are in 'reasonable fear' of violence.

Temporary Absence

  • You can still get benefit if you are temporarily absent from your home and the absence is unlikely to substantially exceed 12 months - providing you intend to return to the property and the property has not been let or sublet
  • If the perpetrator is a family member or former family member then it does not matter where the violence or fear of violence occurs
  • If the perpetrator is not a family member the fear of violence or actual attack must be in your home

Benefit on two homes

We can pay Housing Benefit on two homes for up to 52 weeks provided that you intend to return. This might help you if you need to move to, and pay rent at, another property.

Evidence for your claim

We usually ask for proof of your income, savings and identity. We understand that in an emergency you might not be able to provide this evidence and we can waive the requirement to prove income and savings.

If you live in a hostel you will not have to prove your identity to us for the first 13 weeks of any stay.

If you are not in a hostel, or the stay has been longer than 13 weeks and you do not have the normal proof of identity and National Insurance number, we will accept a letter from a social worker as proof of your identity - or we can ask the Department for Work and Pensions to help us help you prove your ID.

If you are a victim of violence or in fear of violence please contact us for help with your benefit claim.

Benefits Service

London Borough Barnet
P.O. Box 2015
WR10 9BG

Tel: 020 8359 2000

Online: Housing benefit query form for claimants