Introduction to benefits

Housing benefit and council tax support can help towards the cost of your rent or council tax charge.

Both benefits are based on your:

  • income
  • savings
  • age
  • the amount of rent or council tax that you pay
  • the size and age of your family and the contribution made by any lodgers or other adults in your household.

You will not be entitled to claim housing benefit and/or council tax support if you have capital of more than £16,000 (excluding the value of your home) unless you are in receipt of Guaranteed Pension Credit.

The amount of benefit you get will depend on your individual circumstances.

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.

For further information take a look at the Claiming housing benefit and/or council tax support page.

Housing benefit

Housing benefit can help you meet the cost of your rent. If you pay rent to a housing association, private landlord or a letting agent, you can make a claim for housing benefit.

You may be able to make a claim if you are:

  • on a low income
  • self employed
  • sick or disabled
  • a pensioner
  • single or have children
  • currently out of work or looking for work

Council tax support

Council tax support can help pay towards some or all of your council tax bill if you are:

  • on a low income
  • receive job seekers allowance, income support, employment and support allowance
  • a home owner

Making a claim

Visit our 'Claiming housing benefit and/or council tax support' page to make a claim.

Any benefit to which you are entitled will normally start from the Monday following receipt of your form. Claims for backdating your entitlement will be considered if requested.

Housing benefit claims cannot be backdated for a period in excess of three months if you are of pension age, and one month if you are of working age, and you must be able to show continuous good cause of failure to make your claim at the appropriate time.

Claims for council tax support can only be backdated for a period of six months if you are of working age, and three months if you are of pension age.

You will be asked to provide proof of your identity, income, rent and savings. You can send us most of the proofs electronically but we MUST see proof of your ID in its original format. If you make a claim online, you can upload evidence to accompany your claim but you will be required to send or bring in your proof of ID.

You can make an appointment with one of our front line officers to verify your ID or for assistance with the claim process.

Benefit advice is also available on the telephone.

Further information

For more information please contact the benefits team using the details below.

If you need to see a member of the benefits team, you will need to make an appointment. Please contact us to discuss your requirements.

Jobseekers allowance and tax credits

Job Centre Plus offers advice on jobseekers allowance and other benefits - call 0800 055 6688

Tax credits information is available from website.

Contact details

Benefits team

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.

Telephone: 01256 844844

Contact us

  • Contact us online
  • 01256 844844
  • Civic Offices
    London Road
    RG21 4AH
  • Opening hours
    Monday to Thursday
    8.30am to 5pm
    8.30am to 4.30pm
Give us feedback