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Apply 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 the burden on residential property (excluding heating costs) has 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 on residential property, there may also be a retroactive increase in housing benefit, but only up to the point in time from which you have been granted housing benefit.

If your total income has decreased due to fewer members in your household to consider, this may also be a reason for an increase in housing benefit.

Process flow

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

Who should I contact?

To your local housing allowance authority

Requirements

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

For details, please contact your local housing benefit authority.

Which documents are required?

Please submit the following documents:

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

What are the fees?

free

What deadlines do I have to pay attention to?

In the event of a positive decision, payment will be made from the 1st of the month in which the application for an increase was submitted.

Processing duration

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

Applications / forms

Online: please enter your postcode and place of residence.

Appeal

Complaint

For more information on how to file a claim, please refer to the notice of your application for housing benefit.

What else should I know?

There are the following tips:

If your financial situation or living conditions have improved or changed, there may also be a reduction in housing benefit. You are obliged to notify the housing benefit authority immediately of any changes that may lead to a reduction in housing benefit. In order to avoid or detect the unlawful use of housing benefit, the housing benefit authority regularly checks the household members by means of a data comparison.

In order to avoid or detect the unlawful use of housing benefit, the housing benefit authority may regularly check the household members by means of a data comparison – also in automated form – in particular with the data centre of the pension insurance. For example, it may be compared,

  • whether citizens' allowance (formerly unemployment benefit II) is paid while receiving housing benefit,
  • whether there is a compulsory or marginal employment
  • or the amount of capital gains for which an exemption order has been issued.

It is also possible to compare with the registration authority on registration addresses, housing status and time of re-registration. In addition, it is possible to retrieve an account from the Federal Central Tax Office. Suspected cases of fraud are generally reported to the public prosecutor's office.

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

  • whether housing benefit is received more than once,
  • whether transfer benefits leading to exclusion from housing benefit are received at the same time,
  • whether the correct information in the housing benefit application
    • income from employment,
    • income from one or more pensions,
    • income from investment income (interest or dividends),
  • whether the payment of unemployment benefit was stopped in the event of initial unemployment (e.g. due to taking up a new job) and
  • whether the original dwelling for which housing benefit was paid is still actually in use.

The review is permissible up to the expiry of ten years after the notification of the corresponding housing benefit approval.

Technically approved by

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

Author

The text was automatically translated based on the German content.

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