Course: Housing Benefit Legislation Introduction Training

Learn the practical fundamentals of Housing Benefit Legislation

Learn the fundamentals of the Housing Benefit assessment process

Training covers the main areas of Housing Benefit legislation and administrative best practice, including local housing allowance, rent allowance and overpayments. It also provides a basic overview of Council Tax law and the Council Tax Support (Default) Scheme. The course is supported by group discussion, practical exercises at the end of each module and a desk aid.

What will I 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 (Default Scheme) 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 should take this course?

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 benefit assessors
  • Experienced benefit assessors
  • Benefit assistants
  • Team Leaders and Managers

Request Training

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Learners will experience a range of classroom teaching methods including group-working, case studies and both individual and group presentations.

Traditional teaching is supported by a virtual learning environment that is used to host a range of electronic supporting materials.

Assessment is provided by a mix of coursework / verbal examination / written examination and feedback will be provided to the learner and the employer.

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 benefits and Tax / Pension Credits
  • Total Benefit Cap
  • Help and advice for claimants
    Sources of information

Making a claim

  • The application form
  • Customer Management System
  • When and where claims may be made
  • Pensioner claims

Date of claim

  • Standard claims
  • Passport claims
  • New liability
  • Entitlement date
  • Backdating

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
  • Rent officer determinations
  • 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
  • Second Adult Rebate


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


  • Income support and JSA(IB)
  • Unearned income
  • Pension Credit
  • Tax Credits
  • Earnings and disregards
  • Childcare costs


Household and applicable amounts

  • Household composition
  • Civil partnerships
  • Applicable amounts
  • Non-dependants and deductions

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

Suspending Payments

  • Suspension and stopping payments

Change in circumstances

  • Revision/Supersession
  • Change of address / liability frequency / rental amount
  • Death of claimant
  • Starting 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

Contact us today

t: 0203 941 4100 |