Claiming housing benefit and/or council tax support
On this page
- Can I claim housing benefits and/or council tax support?
- Check your entitlement
- Claim for housing benefit/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
- View my benefit claim online
Can I claim housing benefits and/or council tax support?
Help with housing costs
Most people of working age will claim for help with their housing costs as part of a claim for Universal Credit. For more details see our Universal Credit page.
Universal Credit (UC) is a new simpler single monthly payment for people of working age in or out of work and will replace:
- Income-based Jobseekers Allowance
- Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
- Working Tax Credit
- Child Tax Credit
- Income Support
- Housing benefit
There are a few exceptions to people who will claim help with housing costs through Universal Credit, and who will claim Housing Benefit instead to have their housing costs paid by the local authority. If the answer to any of the following questions is YES then you will need to claim housing benefit not Universal Credit:
- Do you live in supported accommodation and receive care support or supervision from your landlord or by an organisation on your landlord’s behalf?
- Have you been placed in temporary accommodation by the Housing Team as part of their duties under homelessness legislation?
- Are you a single person who has reached the qualifying age for pension credit, or are you a couple both of whom have reached the qualifying age for pension credit? (From 15 May 2019, both members of a couple need to have reached the qualifying age for pension credit in order to be able to claim housing benefit. Couples where the youngest partner is of working age will need to claim Universal Credit for help with their housing costs.)
- Are you entitled to a severe disability premium in the calculation of your Housing Benefit, Employment and Support Allowance, Income Support or Jobseekers Allowance?
If you have answered YES to any of the above, then you should claim for Housing Benefit not Universal Credit for help with your housing costs. If you have not answered YES to any of the above questions please see our Universal Credit page.
Check your entitlement
Before you make an application for housing benefit, you should check that you will be entitled. Free to use benefit calculators can be found on the Gov UK website.
Claim for housing benefit/council tax support
If you have not answered YES to any of the above questions you should claim Universal Credit for help with your housing costs but you should still make a claim for help with your council tax by completing the online claim form above.
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 to accompany your claim for Council Tax Support or Housing Benefit. Please note, that most people of working age will claim Universal Credit for help with their housing cost unless they meet a few exceptions. See Universal Credit page form more information.
Please complete, sign and return the form(s) and supporting documents to:
Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council
Remember to enclose all supporting documents. If you don't have your supporting documents, return your form first, as this may affect the date benefits become payable.
If you need to see a member of the benefits team, you will need to make an appointment.
What happens next?
When we receive your application form(s) and documents, we'll assess your entitlement. 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, we can look at it again. You should write to us within one month of the date of the decision notice that you have received. You will need to give us full reasons why you think the decision is wrong. You should also provide any additional evidence to support your appeal.
If we are unable to change our decision, you may have a further right of appeal to the Tribunal Service. This 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 you think your council tax support is wrong
If you think the amount or calculation of your council tax support is wrong, we can look at it again. You should write to us within one month of the date of the decision notice. You will need to give us full reasons why you think the decision is wrong. You will need to provide any additional evidence to support your appeal.
You can appeal to the Valuation Tribunal if we are unable to change our decision. If you have not heard from us within two months of your appeal, you can write to the Valuation Tribunal.
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 for up to 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
- 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 supporting evidence, for example a letter from your doctor to support an illness.
Need extra help with your housing costs?
Do you currently receive housing benefit or Universal Credit? If the amount of benefit you receive towards your housing costs is less than your full rent charge, you could apply for a Discretionary Housing Payment (DHP).
A DHP is a short-term measure designed to support your tenancy whilst you look at making changes to your expenditure and income, or look at suitable cheaper accommodation. Payments are made from a cash-limited fund that is given to local authorities each year and are only awarded in cases of financial hardship. You can request either a short-term regular payment or a lump sum payment.
Various circumstances dictate if a DHP can or cannot be considered. 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
- Spare room deductions
- Help with rent in advance
- Removal costs (at least two formal quotes must be provided for consideration)
How do I apply for a Discretionary Housing Payment (DHP)?
You can only be considered for a DHP if you are currently in receipt of housing benefit or the housing element of Universal Credit.
Please click the link below and fill out the application form with as much information as you can about your financial circumstances. You will need to select whether you are in receipt of housing benefit, Universal Credit or, in certain circumstances, housing benefit and Universal Credit.
IMPORTANT – PLEASE READ BEFORE APPLYING: The claim form will currently only work if you are using a laptop or personal computer running the Internet Explorer web browser. It will not work if you are using a mobile device. If you do not have access to suitable equipment you can ask your landlord or agencies such as Citizens Advice for support to apply. Alternatively, you may have family or friends who can help you? If these options are not possible, please call our benefits helpline on 01256 844844 for assistance.
HOW TO ACCESS A SAVED DHP APPLICATION: If you have already started your application and saved it to complete at a later date, you can access it again by clicking the "Apply for a Discretionary Housing Payment" button below. You will then need to select "Load saved application" where it says "I want to make a DHP application for". Complete the remaining questions on the page, click "Next" and you will then be asked to enter your saved reference and password to retrieve your application.
Apply for a Discretionary Housing Payments (opens in new window)
Jobseekers allowance and tax credits
For details of jobseekers allowance and other benefits, visit the Job Centre Plus website or call 0800 055 6688.
View my benefit claim online
You can now access information about your claim at a time and place that suits you, saving you time and money on phone calls to the council. Once you have registered you will be able to:
- Check the status of your claim.
- See your current entitlement and how this has been calculated.
- Find out about your next and previous payments of housing benefit.
- Receive your benefit notifications electronically to view or print at home.
- View any outstanding overpayments, and invoices.
- Tell us about a change in your circumstances.
If you have an enquiry about benefits, send a message to the Benefits Team
If you wish to make a claim for housing benefit/council tax support but you are unable to claim using the online application, please contact us on the telephone number below.