Council Tax Support and Housing Benefit
Popular Tasks for Housing Benefit and Council Tax Support
Housing Benefit Calculator - to see if you could be entitled to any help towards your rent.
Council Tax Support Calculator - to find out what your current entitlement to Council Tax Support is.
Council Tax Support
Council Tax Support is a benefit administered by the Council, on behalf of the Government, that helps you to meet the cost of your Council Tax. It is paid to people who are liable for Council Tax, (the person whose name is on the bill) and who have a low income, whether they are working or not.
Council Tax Support is a means tested benefit, which means we will need to know about all your income and capital in order to see if you are entitled.
If you have to pay Council Tax and your income is low, you can claim, regardless of whether you are retired, unemployed, or in full or part-time work.
If you are Pension Age and have over £16,000 savings you will not be entitled to any help, unless you receive the guarantee element of Pension Credit.
If you are Working Age and have over £6,000 savings you will not be entitled to any help unless you are in one of the following Protected Groups
- You have at least one child under the age of 5 in your household
- You receive the Disability Premium or Child Disability Premium when we calculate your weekly income allowance
- You receive the Support Component of Employment Support Allowance
- You receive or have underlying entitlement to Carer’s Allowance
If you are Working Age and in one of the Protected Groups and have over £16,000 savings you will not be entitled to any help.
Housing Benefit is similar to Council Tax Support but is used to meet the cost of your rental accommodation, for both Housing Association properties and private tenancies.
Housing Benefit can pay up to 100% of your rent, although it will not generally meet all the service cost your landlord might charge. If you are a private tenant we will only pay up to a rent level that is at or below the local average.
Housing Benefit is a means tested benefit, which means we will need to know about all your income and capital in order to see if you are entitled. If you have over £16,000 savings you will not be entitled, unless you receive the guarantee element of Pension Credit.
How to claim Council Tax Support and Housing Benefit
To apply for Council Tax Support and/or Housing benefit please complete a Claim Form.
When should I claim?
Generally, you should claim as soon as you believe you may be entitled as there are strict rules in housing benefit and council tax support governing the time-limits for which claims can be submitted.
Remember that your claim will usually start from the Monday after we receive it and if you want to claim from an earlier date you will need to indicate this on your form – if you are a new tenant we can award benefit from your tenancy start date, but only if we receive your claim on or before the Sunday after your tenancy starts.
When we have received your claim we will check that you’ve provided all the information we need to calculate your claim including any supporting documentation.
Once we have made a decision we will send you a letter telling you how much council tax and/or housing benefit you are entitled to. The average claim takes approximately 17 working days to process and can be quicker if all the supporting documentation is provided at the time of submitting your claim.
The letter will explain how we have worked out your claim and how we will pay your benefit. If you are entitled to council tax support, we will send you a new bill for the reduced amount and showing new instalments. If you have asked for your claim to start from an earlier date, this will be considered separately and we will write to you once a decision has been made.
If you have a Change of Circumstances you must tell us immediately, as this might affect how much benefit you get. If you do not tell us about changes straight away, you could be paid too much benefit, and be responsible for paying back the overpayment.
Last updated: 30 April 2015