Claiming housing benefit and/or council tax support
On this page
- Can I claim housing benefits and/or council tax support?
- Benefit applications for people who are self employed
- What happens next?
- If you think your housing benefit is wrong
- If you think your council tax support is wrong
- Backdating your housing benefit/council tax support
- Need extra help with your housing costs?
- Jobseekers allowance and tax credits
Can I claim housing benefits and/or council tax support?
Use our benefits calculator to find out if you are entitled to claim:
This will show if you are entitled to claim housing benefit or council tax support, and will enable you to complete an online claim form. Please note that this is a guide only. If you rent privately you will need to enter your Local Housing Allowance (LHA) figure when asked how much rent you are charged. To find out how much your LHA figure is please see LHA rates.
- If you have reached the qualifying age for pension credit, please contact The Pension Service by telephoning 0845 60 60 265 Monday to Friday from 8am to 8pm or visit: www.thepensionservice.gov.uk.
- If you are of working age and need to claim for a state benefit (for example Income Support, Job Seekers Allowance or Incapacity Benefit) please contact the Department for Work and Pensions on 0800 023 4888.
- If you are working age, currently in work, and wish to make a claim for housing benefit and/or council tax support you will need to complete an online application.
Benefit applications for people who are self employed
If you are currently self-employed, you will also need to complete the Self-employed application form.
Please complete, sign and return the form(s) to:
Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council
Remember to enclose all supporting documents. If you do not have all the supporting documents, do not delay returning your form, as this may affect the date from which your benefits are payable.
Should you wish to come into the Civic Offices, you can do so during opening hours Monday to Thursday 8.30am to 5pm, and Friday 8.30am to 4:30pm. Please bring with you your completed application form, together with all supporting documents.
What happens next?
Once we have received your completed application form(s) and supporting documents, we will assess your entitlement to housing benefit and/or council tax support. We will then write to you to confirm your entitlement. Should we require any further information we will contact you direct.
If you think your housing benefit is wrong
If you think the amount or calculation of your housing benefit is wrong, you can ask us to look at it again. You should write to us within one month of the date of the decision notice that you have received and give us full reasons why you think the decision is wrong, and you should provide any additional evidence to support your appeal.
If we are unable to change our decision, then you may have a further right of appeal to the Tribunal Service which is an independent tribunal that hears housing benefit and social security appeals. We will advise you in our reply whether you have a further right of appeal, and how to do so if appropriate.
If you think your council tax support is wrong
If you think the amount or calculation of your council tax support is wrong, you can ask us to look at it again. You should write to us within one month of the date of the decision notice that you have received and give us full reasons why you think the decision is wrong, and you should provide any additional evidence to support your appeal.
If we are unable to change our decision or if you do not hear from us within two months of your appeal being lodged then you can write to the Valuation Tribunal who will consider your appeal.
Backdating your housing benefit/council tax support
If you are over pensionable age your claim for housing benefit and/or council tax support can be backdated up to a maximum of three months.
If you are under pensionable age you may ask for your claim to be backdated by one month prior to your application for housing benefit, and for up to six months for council tax support.
You must prove that you had a good reason for failing to apply at the correct time. This is called "good cause". You will be asked to provide evidence to support your request, for example a letter from your doctor to support an illness.
Need extra help with your housing costs?
If you are in receipt of housing benefit or Universal Credit, and the amount you receive is less than your full rent liability, you may be able to apply for a Discretionary Housing Payment (DHP) to help with your housing costs.
These payments are a short-term measure to assist you to make changes to your expenditure or look for alternative, cheaper accommodation. They are made from a cash-limited fund allocated to local authorities each year from central government and are only awarded in cases of financial hardship. You can request either a short-term regular payment or a lump sum payment.
There are various circumstances that dictate what a DHP can and cannot be considered for, and you will find more information on these circumstances in the ‘Discretionary Housing Payments Guide’ below. It is possible to consider a DHP for such things as low income, non-dependant deductions or spare room deductions, as well as help with rent in advance or removal expenses in relation to properties in Basingstoke and Deane.
How do I apply for a Discretionary Housing Payment?
If you are in receipt of housing benefit, please follow the link below and complete the form in full, providing as much information as possible about your financial circumstances:
Jobseekers allowance and tax credits
For details of jobseekers allowance and other benefits you might be entitled to, visit the Job Centre Plus website https://www.gov.uk/contact-jobcentre-plus or call 0800 055 6688.
For information on tax credits, visit the GOV.UK website https://www.gov.uk/browse/benefits/tax-credits.
If you have an enquiry about benefits, send a message to the Benefits Team
Telephone: 01256 844844