Claiming Benefits - information and application forms
Help with your rent and/or council tax?
Whether you own your own home or rent you will probably have to pay council tax. If you do not own your home you will probably pay rent.
- Housing Benefit can help towards your rent.
- Council Support can help towards your council tax.
Housing benefit cannot help towards day-to-day costs. If your rent includes things like food, water charges, and personal laundry or heating (other than communal areas), these parts will not be included.
It does not matter whether you pay rent to a private landlord or to this council. We want to make sure you and your family get the right help, at the right time, in the right way.
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. You could claim Housing Benefit and/or Council Tax Support.
- If you have over £16,000 savings and investments you cannot normally apply for benefit unless you are aged 60 or over and receiving the guaranteed pension credit
- Savings over £6,000 will normally attract notional income that is added to your actual income when calculating your benefit entitlement.
- There are special housing benefit rules if you are single and aged under 35.
- 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 where your landlord/landlady is also resident and you are defined by legislation to be a close relative of your landlord/lady, 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, some benefits and tax credits and things like occupational pensions
- Your savings and your partner's savings
- Your circumstances, such as your age, the ages and size of your family and whether anyone lives with you.
In the case of Housing Benefit we will also look at whether:
- The amount of rent is reasonable for your particular home
- Your home is a reasonable size for your family
- The amount of rent is reasonable for the area your home is in.
Council Tax Benefit changed in April 2013, it is now called Council Tax Support. As well as a name change the way this Benefit is calculated is also slightly different. Please click here for further information.
How much benefit will I get?
Try the government's benefit calculator to see how much benefit you could be entitled to.
Second adult rebate
From April 2013 you can only claim Second Adult Rebate if you are of 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 or a designated office.
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.
Please indicate your intention to apply by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org containing your name and address and confirming that you have downloaded an application form. Alternatively you can request that we send you a form in the post. The date you request or download a form could affect the date your benefit is paid from.
If you know someone who is claiming benefit fraudulently you can report this in confidence on the Fraud Hotline 0800 731 1892.