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.

Use our benefits calculator to find out if you are entitled to claim:

Benefits calculator

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

Please 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. We return all valuable documents such as building society books the same day we receive them, by recorded delivery. 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. An appointment will be offered to you in order to do this as part of the online claiming process. Alternatively, you can bring your documents in to our housing and benefit advisors, who deal with personal callers to the benefits office. They will verify that your documents are correct. The advisors can deal with any query relating to your claim, entitlement and payments. You can also have an appointment to see them in private if you contact them in advance. Benefit officers are also available on the telephone to answer specific and general queries.

Further information

For more information please contact the benefits team using the details below or you can visit the council offices. An enquiry service is available to provide general information from 8.30am to 5pm Monday to Thursday and 8.30am to 4.30pm on Friday. The benefits team can deal with all aspects of your claim from assisting you with filling in the claim forms to the payment of your benefit to you or your landlord.

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 Direct Gov

Contact details

Benefits team

If you have an enquiry about benefits, send a message to the Benefits Team

Telephone: 01256 844844


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