Housing Benefit Course

Housing Benefit for Benefit Assessors

Delivered Live Online over 5 days

Next Running

9th-13th September 2024
14th-18th October 2024


5-day course


Delivered live online by a trainer


£749 plus VAT per delegate for the 5 day course
£4975 for a course for your organisation

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.  


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