Housing benefit advice

If you can cover your other living expenses and part of the rent or burden with your own income, you can check whether you are also entitled to housing benefit.

Important notes


If you can cover your other living expenses and part of the rent or burden with your own income, you can check whether you are also entitled to housing benefit.
Whether and to what extent you can claim housing benefit depends on various factors. Essential are:

  • the amount of your total income
  • the amount of your rent or charge in the case of home ownership
  • the number of household members and their income.
You must apply for housing benefit in writing.

Documents required

Proof of housing costs or the burden:

  • Lease agreement / lease change letter or certificate from the landlord or, in the case of residential property, purchase agreement and loan agreements & repayment plans with payment receipts
  • Water fee billing/initial classification of water deductions
Proof of household income:
  • Payslips / certificate of earnings or pension notification, pension adjustment notification
  • Complete notice of unemployment benefit I, citizen benefit / unemployment benefit II, child allowance
  • Complete notification of BAföG, BAB
  • Notice of parental allowance
  • Income from maintenance, notification of maintenance advance
In individual cases, additional documents (e.g. additional income, proof of property, self-disclosure of a self-employed person, income forecast for the self-employed, proof of severe disability, etc.) may be required.

Please note

Heating allowance II
Citizens who received housing benefit for at least one month in the period September to December 2022 will receive a second heating cost subsidy. As of December 1, 2022, Hamburg has already paid out the heating subsidy II to around 13,500 Hamburg households entitled to housing benefit.
Households that receive housing benefit for the first time in December will probably receive the heating subsidy in January 2023. Payment is automated – no application is required.

In order to avoid or uncover the illegal claiming of housing benefit, the housing benefit authority may regularly check the household members by means of a so-called data comparison.


Housing benefit is usually paid starting on the first of the month in which the application is received by a housing benefit office.

Procedure & Fees


You can send applications for housing benefit to the housing benefit office responsible for you. It is sufficient to submit the application in writing - personal visits are not necessary. After processing you will receive a notification.

Processing time

The application will be decided immediately. The processing time depends, among other things, on the completeness of the information and the submission of the evidence required for processing the application.

However, due to the large number of new applications for housing benefit expected in January 2023, it may take some time to process your application.

Possibly longer processing times are not at your expense: for periods after receipt of the application, housing benefit can also be paid out retrospectively.



Legal notes

Legal remedies


Legal basis

Housing benefit law

Service description

Housing benefit is intended to relieve you of the housing costs and to ensure that you have appropriate and family-friendly housing economically. The basic principle is that housing costs should not exceed a certain percentage of income.

The Housing Allowance Act provides for federally defined maximum amounts for rent or encumbrances.

Before submitting an application, please use one of the linked online housing allowance calculators to check whether you are likely to be entitled to housing allowance.

If you have further questions about the application, you can call the hotline.

Public Service Disclaimer

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