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Applying for an increase in housing benefit

Your entitlement to housing benefit could increase if

  • your total income has decreased by more than 10 percent,
  • your rent or housing costs (excluding heating costs) have increased by more than 10 percent or
  • the number of household members has increased.

In the event of a rent increase or an increase in the burden of home ownership, there may also be a retroactive increase in housing benefit, but only up to the date on which you were granted housing benefit.

If your total income has decreased because there are fewer members in your household, this may also be a reason for an increase in housing benefit.

  • You send your application in writing or online to the housing benefit office responsible for you.
  • The authority will check your application and send you a decision.
  • If approved, the housing benefit is usually granted for twelve months.

To your local housing benefit authority

  • Your total income must have decreased by more than 10 percent or
  • the number of members of your household has increased or
  • Your rent or your housing costs (excluding heating costs) have increased by more than 10 percent.

For details, please contact your local housing benefit office.

Please submit the following documents:

  • Proof of the change in rent or charges
  • Proof of the change in income
  • Proof of the change in the household members to be taken into account

free of charge

If the decision is positive, payment is made from the 1st of the month in which the application for an increase was submitted.

A decision on your application will be made immediately. The processing time depends, among other things, on the completeness of your information and the submission of the evidence required for processing the application. Any longer processing times are not at your expense: housing benefit can also be granted and paid retroactively for periods from the date of receipt of the application.

Online: please enter your postcode and place of residence.


You will find further information on how to lodge a complaint in the notification of your application for housing benefit.

The following information is available:

If your financial situation or living circumstances have improved or changed, this may also lead to a reduction in housing benefit. You are obliged to inform the housing benefit authority immediately of any changes that could lead to a reduction in your housing benefit. In order to prevent or uncover unlawful claims for housing benefit, the housing benefit authority regularly checks the household members by comparing their data.

In order to avoid or uncover unlawful claiming of housing benefit, the housing benefit authority may regularly check the household members by comparing data - also in automated form - in particular with the pension insurance data office. For example, the following may be compared

  • whether citizen's allowance (formerly unemployment benefit II) is being paid while the housing benefit is being received,
  • whether there is employment subject to compulsory insurance or marginal employment
  • or the amount of investment income for which an exemption order has been issued.

It is also possible to compare registration addresses, housing status and the time of re-registrations with the registration office. It is also possible to call up accounts at the Federal Central Tax Office. Suspected cases of fraud are always reported to the public prosecutor's office.

Through these checks, the housing benefit authority can determine, for example

  • whether housing benefit is being received more than once,
  • whether transfer payments leading to exclusion from housing benefit are being received at the same time,
  • whether the information in the housing benefit application is correct
    • on income from gainful employment,
    • income from one or more pensions
    • income from capital gains (interest or dividends),
  • whether the payment of unemployment benefit was discontinued in the case of original unemployment (e.g. due to taking up new employment) and
  • whether the original home for which housing benefit was paid is still actually being used.

The review is permitted up to ten years after notification of the associated housing benefit approval.

Lower Saxony Ministry of Economic Affairs, Transport, Building and Digitalization

The text was automatically translated based on the German content.

Source: Serviceportal Niedersachsen (Portalverbund des Bundes und der Länder)