Housing Benefit Course

Housing Benefit for Benefit Assessors

Delivered Live Online over 5 days

Next Running

6-10 June
4-8 July
8-12 August
19-23 September
10-14 October
21-25 November


5 day course


Delivered live online by a trainer


£750 plus VAT per delegate for the 5 day course

Housing Benefit For Benefit Assessors

Course Overview

Learn the fundamentals of the Housing Benefit assessment process – from making a claim, calculating entitlement and awarding benefit, through to changing and ending awards and recovering overpaid benefit. A good induction for new staff who require an intensive and thorough grounding in the main areas of Housing Benefit legislation and best practice, also Ideal as a refresher course for more experienced staff who want to update their knowledge.

What you'll learn: 

  • By the end of the course, delegates will be able to:
  • Describe how and where customers can claim Housing Benefit
  • Explain when HB can be paid on two homes and where the claimant is temporarily absent from their home.
  • Clarify how to work out the ‘date of claim’ and the date that entitlement should start
  • Explain how to work out the eligible rent and the maximum rent for HB purposes
  •  State how to work out if a household is ‘under-occupying’ the dwelling and how to reduce their HB entitlement
  • Describe how to calculate the claimant’s capital and income that should be used in the assessment
  • Explain how and when to apply a non-dependant deduction
  • Explain how to work out a claimant’s applicable amount
  • Manually calculate Rent Rebate, Rent Allowance, Local Housing Allowance and Council Tax Support entitlement.
  • State the difference between a ‘revision’ and a ‘supersession’
  • Explain the significance of correctly classifying HB overpayments
  • List at least 2 indicators of possible fraudulent activity in a claim

Who's it for?

There are no formal pre-requisites for this course; the course is equally suited to new staff as an induction and to more experienced staff who need to update their skills:

  • New assessment staff
  • Experienced assessment staff
  • Team Leaders and Managers 

How it's delivered: 

This course is delivered ‘live on-line’ with a trainer and can be accessed via a PC, Mac or Tablet. With live online, you can interact, ask questions and practice new skills – all without leaving your desk! Perfect for dispersed teams working from home.  


The cost of this 5-day scheduled course is £750 plus VAT per delegate.

Please get in touch for a quote if you'd like to book this as a private course for people in your organisation.


Day One: 

Data Protection

  • The principles of Data Protection (GDPR compliance)
  • Disclosure of data

State Benefits

  • Overview of state benefits scheme
  • Means tested/non-means tested benefits
  • Basic rules for claiming Universal Credit
  • Total Benefit Cap
  • Help and advice for claimants
  • Sources of information

Making a claim

  • The application form
  • When and where claims may be made
  • Pensioner claims
  • Date of claim
  • Standard claims
  • Passport claims
  • New liability
  • Entitlement date
  • Backdating

Day two:

Occupation and Liability

  • Liability to pay rent
  • Persons treated as not liable to pay
  • Occupation as a home
  • Benefits on two homes
  • Absence from home
  • Contrived rent liabilities and non-commercial agreements


  •   Housing Benefit or Local Housing Allowance?
  •   Liability to pay rent
  •   Eligible / ineligible services
  •   Maximum rent
  •   Rent Restrictions
  •   Size criteria
  •   Broad rental market areas
  •   Applying the LHA
  •   Payment on Account

Removal of the Spare Room Subsidy

  •   Under occupation
  •   Percentage reductions
  •   Foster carers
  •   Temporary absence from home i.e. students / armed forces
  •   Protection from the reduction / DHP

Day three

  • Capital
  •  What is capital?
  •  Tariff income
  •  Valuation of capital
  •  Pensioners


  •   Unearned income
  •   Pension Credit
  •   Earnings and disregards
  •   Childcare costs
  •   Household and applicable amounts
  •   Household composition
  •   Civil partnerships
  •   Applicable amounts
  •   Non-dependants and deductions

Day four

  • Evidence and supporting information
  • Interventions
  • Identity and NI number
  • Evidence of income, rent, changes of circumstance, etc.
  • How evidence is requested
  • Final calculation of benefits
  • Payment of HB / LHA
  • How and who we pay
  • 8 weeks arrears and disputes
  • Advance or arrears payments
  • Safeguards for LHA claimants
  • Deductions from payments
  • Shortfall of benefit
  • Discretionary housing payments

Day five

Suspending Payments

  • Suspension and stopping payments

Change in circumstances

  • Revision/Supersession
  • Change of address / liability frequency / rental amount
  • Death of claimant
  •  tarting work and extended payments
  •  Non-dependents
  • LHA changes
  • Pensioner rules

Overpayments of benefit

  •   Period and calculation of overpayment
  •   Classifying the overpayment
  •   Underlying entitlement and offsetting
  •   Recoverability and choosing from whom to recover
  •   How to recover overpayments

Decisions, notifications and appeals

  •   Disputes and reconsiderations
  •   Appeals


  •   Types of fraud / indicators