A- You will need to complete an application form.
Q - What will I need to provide with my new claim form?
A -See details on Evidence Required.
Q - When will my benefit start?
A - Council Tax Support and Housing Benefit will usually start from the Monday after you first contacted us.
Q - Can my claim start from an earlier date?
A - There are circumstances when we may 'backdate' your benefit. If you would like us to consider back-dating your benefit, you need to show there was a good reason why you did not claim earlier, and send us proof of your income and other details to cover the whole period. see our Backdated claims page.
Q - Will I qualify for benefit?
A - This will depend on your household income and the amount of savings you have. You will not qualify for benefit if you and your partner have combined savings of over £16,000 ,unless you also receive Guaranteed Pension Credit. Our on-line benefit calculator will give you an indication of entitlement to Housing and Council Tax Support. Use this link to access our on-line benefit calculator
Q - How will you pay my benefit?
A - Council Tax Support will be credited to your account and you will be sent an adjusted bill. Housing Benefit will be credited to your bank or building society every four weeks for the previous four weeks. You must ensure that you have given us your account details. If you have asked us to pay your landlord we can credit their account. Again we must have their account details. Payments are usually made to the claimant if you are renting your home from a private landlord.
Council Tenants Housing benefit will be credited directly to your rent account.
Q - Can I be paid Housing benefit on a specific date?
A - No. Payments of Housing Benefit are made every 4 weeks in arrears. This means over a year you will receive 13 payments of Housing benefit.
Q - How much rent do I have to pay?
A - You will need to contact your landlord to ask this. Some charges within your rent might not be met by Housing Benefit or you may have arrears on your rental account. Your landlord will be able to provide these details for you.
Q - Is my claim treated differently if I rent from a private landlord?
A - Yes, benefit is assessed differently if you rent from a private landlord. New claims, changes of address, and breaks in existing claims mean we will treat your claim using Local Housing Allowance rules. For further information about Local Housing Allowance please use this link.
Q - What happens if my circumstances change?
A - You must tell us straight away of any changes in your circumstances that may affect your benefit. For full details see Change of Circumstances.
Q - What happens to my claim if I am temporarily away from home?
A - In some cases, we can continue to pay benefit while you are away from your home. In most cases, you must not be away for more than 13 weeks. If you are going to be away from your home you must tell us. We need to know the date you are leaving, the date you expect to return and why you will be away. If you need more information, please contact Us.
Q - How many bedrooms do I need for my household?
A - See details on the Local Housing Allowance page
Q - What happens if I change address?
A - Please contact us as soon as you know you are moving and we will send you a change of address form.
Q - What should I do if I disagree with your decision?
A - Write to us within one month of the date on the original notification letter and state that you now wish to appeal against the decision. A letter of appeal must be signed by the benefit customer. Your letter must include details about exactly what you wish to appeal about and why you think our decision is wrong. Your case will be referred to an Independant Appeal Tribunal.
Tel: (01444) 477264
CenSus Revenues & Benefits
PO Box 519