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Over 150,000 people are in receipt of house benefit

By Adrian Rutherford

Published 21/07/2015

More than 150,000 people in Northern Ireland are currently receiving housing benefit, it has been disclosed.

The highest number of claimants are in the Belfast area and the north west.

People can qualify for housing benefit to help pay their rent if they are on a low income.

How much they receive depends on their income and circumstances.

According to figures released by the Social Development Minister, 135,009 people receive full housing benefit.

Another 28,310 receive partial housing benefit.

The numbers were released following an Assembly question from Ian Milne, a Sinn Fein MLA for Mid-Ulster.

Mervyn Storey's answer provides a geographical breakdown of claimants by council area.

A small number of "rates-only" cases are not included in the figures.

The Belfast area has the highest number - 37,006 full and 7,147 partial claimants.

Meanwhile, the Londonderry and Strabane area has 20,732 claimants - 17,685 receiving full housing benefit.

The third highest area is Newry, Mourne and Down, where a total of 16,898 claimants are located.

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