Manchester City Council

Benefits & support Housing Benefit and Council Tax Support for students

Can students get Housing Benefit and Council Tax Support?

Most full-time students can't get Housing Benefit to help with rent or Council Tax Support to help with Council Tax:

The Government expects students to use other money, like their student loan (or other source of student finance for postgraduates) to pay their rent. Students who find themselves in financial hardship should contact their student welfare officer for advice. Discretionary funding may be available from your university or college hardship fund.

Council Tax
Many students are exempt from paying Council Tax. If you live in a hall of residence you will be automatically exempt. Students living in other types of accommodation may need to claim an exemption or discount. See About Council Tax for students.


These students may be able to get Housing Benefit and Council Tax Support:

  • lone-parent students and student couples with children;
  • students whose partner is not a student - the partner would have to claim;
  • those who are pension-age, or whose partner is pension-age;
  • those who get Income Support, income-based Jobseeker's Allowance or income-related Employment and Support Allowance;
  • those who get the Disability Premium (this is an allowance we use to work out benefit for people who meet certain conditions);
  • those who get a Disabled Student's Allowance for deafness;
  • those who are under 22 and not in higher education (this means that you are in any education after the age of 16, up to and including GCE 'A' Level or BTEC National Diploma or National Certificate, whether or not the course leads to a qualification);
  • those who are under 20 and someone gets Child Benefit for them;
  • those who have interrupted their course due to illness or caring responsibilities (with the approval of their college or university) may be able to claim for the period between their illness or caring responsibilities ending and when they return to University, but only if they do not receive student finance during that time;
  • those who have been covered by a sick note saying that they have not been able to work due to illness or disability for at least 28 weeks;
  • part-time students. 

If you are a student who isn't covered in this list, but you have a partner who isn't a full-time student, they may be able to claim instead.

If you think you are eligible to claim, please use our online form to submit a Housing Benefit and Council Tax Support claim. The calculator part of our online claim does not work for students at present. This means that you will not know immediately whether or not your claim has been successful. We will use the information you provide to assess your claim. Then we will contact you to tell you the result of your claim or to let you know if we need any more information or evidence.

Make an online claim

Pension-age students who can claim Council Tax Support but don't qualify (usually because of their income or savings) may be able to get other help:

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