Is housing benefit for you?
Housing benefit - the formal rules
Housing benefit is for you who are a tenant. It is a subsidy for your rent. Housing benefit in general is a tax-free contribution that you receive from the government. It is a contribution and therefore can never cover your entire rent, but is seen as financial support.
Housing benefit was introduced in the 60’s because rents were set up significantly for many tenants, who had difficulty paying their rent. Many found themselves forced to move from their tenancy. Therefore the government created housing benefits. The tenants received subsidies for the rent so they could pay the rent and stay in the tenancy.
Housing benefit is for non-pensioners. If you are an early retiree by rules after 2003, you can also apply for housing benefit. The subsidy provides for tenants, who have a home with their own kitchen. There is also a housing benefit for early retirees whose pension was granted before 1st of January 2003 and old-age pensioners.
Housing benefit is calculated on the basis of the household's income, wealth, the number of children in the household, size of tenancy and the area of the dwelling. The subsidy does not cover water, heat and electricity. It is solely adequate for the rent.
Can you apply for housing benefit?
Who can actually apply for housing benefit? It applies for you if you live in a rental flat and do not receive social pension. You must meet some requirements in order to receive housing benefit:
- The home must be a year-round home
- The home must have its own kitchen
- The home must have running water and drainage for wastewater
- You must have a permanent residence in Denmark
If you meet the requirements, you can apply for the benefits. If you live in a parental home, you can apply for housing benefit when you have a lease.
Housing benefit calculation
Your housing benefit will depend on various factors. Therefore, it is not possible to say one fixed price that will apply to everyone.
- How big is your home?
- How much do you pay in rent?
- How many people live on the lease?
- Total household income and wealth
When you need to calculate how much your housing benefit will be, it is calculated based on those factors. The personal income is your salary minus labor market contributions, education support, unemployment benefits, sickness benefits, pension, income from self-employment, etc. Your wealth is to be understood as positive capital income, stock income, and if the wealth exceeds a certain amount. One person will receive the housing allowance, and therefore there is also only one on the lease who must apply for it. It is your mutual responsibility to distribute the allowance.
As mentioned, there are different kinds of housing benefits. Both are a financial contribution to tenants, but it caters to different groups.
How do you get housing benefits?
If you think you are suitable for housing benefits, you must apply for it at borger.dk. Here you fill in an application form. If you are approved for housing benefit, the money will be paid out by Udbetaling Danmark. There may be a long processing time, but if you apply within 30 days of moving in, you will receive the allowance with retroactive effect from the time you move in. As a rule, the treatment time is approx. 13 weeks, from the day on which Udbetaling Danmark receives the application.
The first weekday of the month, the money will be in your account.
Where can I find a housing benefit calculator?
When you fill in your application on borger.dk, you can also calculate how much you can receive in housing benefit.
If your income changes, your housing benefit changes. However, the housing benefit will only be adjusted if the income will increase or decrease by more than DKK 800.
If the housing benefit is less than DKK 265 per month, it will not be paid out.
When you want to try to calculate your housing benefit, it will usually be 60 % of the rent. From that amount, 18 % is deducted. This is the part of the household that will exceed an income of DKK 12,200 per month.
You can find concrete examples online if you want a sense of whether housing benefit is for you and whether it pays to apply at all.
In the case of students, housing benefit is often possible, where this may not always be the case, when you get a full-time job after your studies. However, it can look very different, so it is always worth checking out, as it can be a help to get a smaller financial contribution to your rent.