How Housing Benefit and Council Tax Support works
Housing Benefit and Local Council Tax Support is paid by your local Council. Housing Benefit (HB) is for people who qualify for assistance with their rental costs. Council Tax support (LCTS) can be granted to any resident who is liable for the Council Tax on the home they live in.
If you are:
- Receiving Income Support / Employment and Support Allowance (income based) / Job Seekers Allowance (income based)
- Receiving other state benefits, state retirement pension or pension credit
- Self employed and on low earnings
- Working part-time
- Working full-time and on low earnings
If you receive Universal Credit, you will only be able to receive LCTS.
If you are on a low income and need financial help to pay all or part of your rent, you may be eligible for HB. We assess your claim for HB and LCTS at the same time. The amount of your benefit entitlement depends upon five factors:
- Household details
- Your weekly income
- Your capital
- The amount of your Council Tax and/or the amount of your rent
- Whether a Non-Dependant lives with you (e.g. a grown up son or daughter, parent, friend etc).
Benefit is calculated by reference to an applicable amount. This is a figure set by Central Government each year, which is intended to reflect basic weekly living expenses.
In practice, you may feel the Applicable Amount is inadequate. Nevertheless, it is the figure that we must use. It is based on a personal allowance for the claimant and partner (if any) which is increased if there are any dependent children and increased again by premiums in certain specific situations.
Child Benefit is ignored when calculating your income for HB & LCTS purposes. Child Maintenance is ignored when calculating your income for HB only.
For everyone of pension age, the amount of capital you can have before it affects your entitlement to HB & LCTS is £10,000. For working age, the amount of capital is £6,000 before it affects Housing Benefit and £10,000 before it affects LCTS.
You cannot usually get HB or LCTS if:
- you have savings of over £16,000, unless you are aged 60 or over and getting the 'guarantee credit' of pension credit
- you live in the home of a close relative
- you are a full-time student, unless you are disabled or have children
- you are an asylum seeker or are sponsored to be in the UK
If you wish to make a claim, please complete this online application form. Start your claim by clicking on the green button marked Start New Form.