Help Paying Your Rates

NI Direct

If you’re a homeowner finding it difficult to pay your rates bill you may be entitled to help with paying your rates. If you and your partner (if you have one) are of pension age you can apply for the Housing Benefit and Rate Relief Scheme.

You can use the Government State Pension age calculator to check your state pension age at: Check your State Pension age.

Claiming Housing Benefit and Rate Relief

To claim as a homeowner, you must send an application form along with your supporting documents to the Housing Executive who will assess your application. 

Universal Credit

You can't claim Housing Benefit and Rate Relief if you're receiving Universal Credit or if you are entitled to apply for Universal Credit. You need to apply for Rate Rebate to get help paying your rates. 

Assessing your claim for Housing Benefit and Rate Relief

Housing Benefit and Rate Relief are means-tested. When you apply, you need to include information about your weekly income, your capital, assets like financial accounts or additional properties you own and household circumstances.

When assessing your claim, the Housing Executive will check you’re an eligible homeowner and that you  have supplied evidence with your application form.

When a claim starts

A benefit week runs from Monday to Sunday. When you apply, your claim start date will automatically be dated three months earlier than the date you applied should you meet the criteria.

You can't make a backdated claim beyond three months for help with your rates, unless the Housing Executive or another government office made a mistake when assessing your benefits.

If your claim is successful, you’ll receive help with your rates in full or in part. 

Housing Benefit and Rate Relief application form

You can complete the Housing Executive and Rate Relief online application form:

You can also ask the Housing Executive for a form using:

  • the Housing Benefit helpline: 03448 920 902
  • text relay: 18001 03448 920 902
  • email your local Housing Benefit Unit

Find your local Housing Benefit Unit

Homeowners applying for other benefits or allowances

If you have a low income and apply for certain social security benefits or allowances, any Jobs and Benefits office or Social Security Agency can ask for an application form on your behalf.

You need to return your application form along with any supporting documents to the Housing Executive.

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