Claiming Benefits - information and application forms
Help with your rent and/or Council tax?
- Housing Benefit/ Universal Credit can help with your rent.
- Council Tax Support can help towards your council tax.
Housing Benefit or Universal Credit?
If you need help with your rent you will need to claim Universal Credit unless you:
- You have reached Pension Credit age, if you are a member of a couple from 15 May 2019 you must both have reached Pension credit age or already receive Pension Credit.
- Live in temporary accommodation.
- Live in accommodation where your landlord provides support - this does not include sheltered schemes owned by the Council.
If you fall into one of the above categories you should claim Housing Benefit.
Please visit gov.uk for more information.
For help with your Council Tax you should complete the on-line application even if you will be applying for Universal Credit.
Are you on a low income and paying rent and/or council tax?
You may still be able to get benefit even if you are working.
- If you have over £16,000 in savings and investments you cannot normally get benefit unless you are aged 60 or over and receiving guaranteed pension credit
- Savings over £6,000 will normally attract notional income that is added to your actual income when calculating your benefit entitlement. For people of State Pension Age this amount is £10,000.
- Most asylum seekers and people who are sponsored to be in the UK cannot get Housing Benefit or Council Tax Support.
- If you live in a property and your landlord is also resident and you are defined by legislation to be a close relative of your landlord, you cannot get Housing Benefit.
- You cannot usually get Housing Benefit if you are a full time student unless you are disabled or have children. As a student you will not usually have to pay council tax.
How Housing Benefit and Council Tax Support is worked out
We will look at:
- Money you and your partner have coming in, including earnings, benefits including tax credits and also other income such as private and occupational pensions
- Your savings and your partner's savings, this includes any property you own but do not live in
- Your circumstances, such as your age, the age of any children living with you and whether anyone else lives with you.
In the case of Housing Benefit we will also look at whether:
- Your home is a reasonable size for your family
- The amount of rent is reasonable for the area your home is in.
How much benefit will I get?
You can use the government's benefit calculator to see how much benefit you could be entitled to. Please note this should only be used as a guide and does not guarantee the amount you will receive.
Second adult rebate
Second Adult rebate can also help with Council Tax for people who are State Pension Credit Age
If you share your home with one adult (a person aged 18 or over) or more:
- who is not your partner
- does not pay council tax themselves
- is on a low income
- does not pay you rent on a commercial basis
You may be able to get help towards your council tax. This is called second adult rebate and is based on the other adult's circumstances, however you will have to make the claim.
Make your claim soon
Benefit is normally awarded from the Monday after your claim is received by the Council. You can apply in advance but will only be paid from the date you move into a property.
If you delay you may lose benefit. If you have a question that has not been answered here, contact the benefits service: 03450 450 061
You can apply online using the new claim eForm.
If you know someone who is claiming benefit fraudulently you can report this in confidence on the Fraud Hotline 08007311892.
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