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Guide to making a claim for Housing Benefit or Council Tax Support

Housing Benefit and Council Tax Support are calculated by comparing how much money you have got coming in to how much money the Government says you need to live on. You can use online calculators to work out if you can apply for benefits and how much you might be able to get.

View your Housing Benefit and Council Tax Support online.

Apply for Housing benefit.

Apply for Council Tax Support.

Adults that live with you in your property may affect your claim for Housing Benefit and Council Tax Support.

If you cannot find the answer to your questions on our website you can contact us for more help.

Home visits

If you are elderly, disabled or unable to call in at our offices a member of our team can visit you at home to help complete the application forms and check any documents that are needed. Request a home visit.

Documents we need with your application for benefits

In order to process your claim for benefits you will need to provide documents to prove:

  • Your identity
  • Where you live
  • National insurance number
  • Income, benefits and capital such as savings and investment
  • Proof that you are legally responsible for paying rent (if you are applying for Housing Benefit)

All documents supplied need to be originals.

If you do not have all the necessary documents straight away you should still return your benefit claim form and we will then write to you for any necessary missing documents.

Documents we accept

Documents that we can accept are:

Proof of identity:

  • Birth certificate
  • Marriage certificate
  • Passport
  • Medical card
  • Driving licence
  • UK residence permit
  • EEC identity card

Proof of address:

  • Recent utility bill (eg. gas, water, electricity or telephone) to confirm your name and address

Proof of National Insurance number:

  • National Insurance number card
  • Social Security letter
  • Tax Credit award letter

Proof of capital, savings and investments:

  • All of your bank, building society or post office books
  • Certificates for premium bonds
  • National Savings certificates
  • ISAs
  • Stocks, shares and unit trusts.

We need to see proof of any interest or dividends you get on investments and savings. We must see 2 months of transactions on your bank, building society or post office accounts. The accounts should have been made up-to-date within the last 2 months. This includes any current accounts you or your partner hold.

Proof of earnings:

  • Your last 5 payslips if you are paid every week
  • Your last 3 payslips if you are paid every 2 weeks
  • Your last 2 payslips if you are paid every month

If you do not have your pay slips you can download a form that you can give to your employer (PDF, 82KB).

If you or your partner are self-employed, we need to see your accounts for the last financial year or, if you have been trading for less than 6 months, a summary of your trading records so far. Alternatively you can complete a form to tell us about your self-employment (PDF, 27KB).

Proof of other income:

  • Pension slips from a former employer
  • A letter from the court showing how much maintenance you are getting.

We need to see proof of any money people pay you for board and lodging on a commercial basis.

Proof of benefits, allowances or pensions:

  • Award notices
  • Letters from social security confirming how much you get

If you do not have proof, let us know straight away.

Proof of private rent and tenancy:

  • An up-to-date rent book
  • Rent receipts
  • Current signed tenancy agreement
  • A letter from your landlord/agent to confirm the terms of your tenancy

Proof of other money paid out:

  • Letters about student grants or maintenance
  • Agreements or receipts from registered child carers

Other adults that live with you (non-dependants)

Adults that live with you in your property may affect your claim for Housing Benefit and Council Tax Support. If they are aged 18 years or over, live with you, and you do not make money from this arrangement (eg an adult child or elderly relative) then they are called a ‘non-dependant’ person.

For most non-dependant people living in your property we reduce your Housing Benefit or Council Tax Support by a certain amount - called a non-dependant deduction. If 2 non-dependant people are married to each other (or are treated as a couple) then only 1 deduction is made for them.

The amount of deduction depends on the circumstances of the non-dependant people you live with, and the amount of money that they have.

If you share your home with a joint tenant or joint owner and the non-dependant person shares the home with both of you then your benefit will be reduced by half of the non-dependant deduction.

The amount of the deduction from your weekly Housing Benefit and Council Tax Support depends on the circumstances and income of the non-dependant person living at your property.

The amount of deduction changes in April each year.

Non-dependant deductions for 2016/17 (PDF 173 KB)

Non-dependant deductions for 2017/18 (PDF 97  KB)

For example, for Housing Benefit 2016/17, if the non-dependant person is:

  • Aged 24 or less and gets Income Support: no deduction
  • Getting Retirement Pension or Incapacity Benefit: £14.65 deduction
  • Working for 16 hours or more a week and earns £195 to £252.99 gross (pay before tax and other deductions) a week: £46.20 deduction
  • Working for 16 hours or more a week and earns £338 to £419.99 gross (pay before tax and other deductions) a week: £86.10 deduction

For example, for Council Tax Support 2016/17, if the non-dependant person is:

  • Aged 24 or less and gets Income Support : No deduction
  • Getting Retirement Pension or Incapacity Benefit : £3.77 deduction 
  • Working 16 hours or more a week and earns £195 to £337.99 gross (pay before tax and other deductions) a week: £7.58 deduction
  • Working 16 hours or more a week and earns £338 to £419.99 gross (pay before tax and other deductions) a week: £9.56 deduction

The following people are not listed as non-dependants if they live at your property: 

  • Dependant members of your family for whom you get benefit for (eg a partner, young son or daughter)
  • Lodgers or boarders who live with you on a commercial basis (income received from a lodger or boarder may affect any Housing Benefit or Council Tax Support claims)
  • Tenant or sub-tenants
  • People who own all or part of your home eg a joint owner
  • Professional carers

If you only share a bathroom, lavatory, hall or passage way with someone they are probably not a non-dependant person.

When a deduction is not applied

No deductions are made for non-dependant people living with you if you or your partner are:

  • Registered blind
  • Getting Attendance Allowance or a care component of Disability Living Allowance

No deductions are made for an adult child (son, daughter, step son or daughter) in the Armed Forces that are away from home on operations, but who continue to live with their parents when not on duty. However, a non-dependant deduction will be made when they return home from duty.

No deductions are made from Housing Benefit if the non-dependant adult living with you:

  • Is aged under 25 years and gets Income Support, Jobseekers Allowance (income based); or Employment and Support Allowance (income related assessment phase)
  • Is aged under 25 years, not working and gets Universal Credit
  • Gets Pension Credit
  • Gets a youth training allowance
  • Usually lives elsewhere
  • Has been a hospital in-patient for more than 52 weeks
  • Is a prisoner
  • Is a student (but a deduction will be made during the summer vacation if they are in work)

No deductions are made from Council Tax Support if the non-dependant adult living with you:

  • Gets Income Support, Jobseekers Allowance (income based), or Employment and Support Allowance (income related)
  • Gets Universal Credit and is not working
  • Gets Pension Credit
  • Gets a youth training allowance
  • Usually lives elsewhere
  • Has been a hospital in-patient for more than 52 weeks
  • Is a prisoner
  • Is a student (but a deduction will be made during the summer vacation if they are in work)
  • If you receive a council tax discount - your local authority will tell you if this happens.

Non-dependant deductions rates

The amount of deduction depends on the circumstances of your non-dependant people and the amount of income that they have.  By income we normally mean all of your non-dependants' gross pay (pay before tax and other deductions), social security benefits and the interest paid on savings. 

We do not include Attendance Allowance, Disability Living Allowance, Maintenance in respect of a child or payments from the Macfarlane Trusts, The Fund, the Eileen Trust and the independent Living Fund. 

Non-dependant deductions for 2016/17 (PDF 173 KB)

Non-dependant deductions for 2017/18 (PDF 97 KB)

 

Review forms

If you get Housing Benefit or Council Tax Support we may send you short forms during the year to ask you to confirm your current financial and household information. A member of our benefits team may also visit you to confirm your details. Failure to return either the form, or to not be available for a home visit could result in your claim being stopped.