Information about Housing Benefit and Council Tax Reduction
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Housing Benefit and Council Tax Reduction is a means tested welfare benefit. This means that people who are on a low income may be able to claim for help towards their rent and Council Tax.
Further information on how your tenant can claim benefit, what their entitlement will be, payment information, overpayment of benefit, appeals and changes in circumstances can be found by visiting the Benefits section.
Universal Credit will affect new claims for some residents and families in Southend from July 2017.
As a general rule all residents of Southend will receive help with their rent via Housing costs paid within their Universal Credit payment unless:
- They are pension age
- They have a family of more than 2 children
- They live in supported accommodation – meaning that they receive care, support and supervision as part of their tenancy by the landlord or an agency on behalf of the landlord
If they fall into one of the above categories then they will continue to claim Housing Benefit for help with their rent.
Further information on how Universal Credit works, including the qualifying criteria can be found by visiting our What is Universal Credit page. You can also get information by visiting the Department for Work and Pensions please refer to the link in Useful Websites.
What can we tell you about your tenant's Housing Benefit?
If we pay your tenant:
They can give us written permission to talk to you about the progress of their claim and the result. They must sign the consent box on the claim form or write to us.
With their permission we can tell you:
- where the claim is up to
- whether we have made a decision
- when we are sending out the payment.
But we will not be able to tell you confidential details such as:
- personal details like their financial circumstances; or
- how much benefit we have decided to pay them.
Without their permission we cannot tell you anything. We cannot even confirm that they have made a Housing Benefit claim.
If we pay you:
We will write to tell you when we start or stop paying you directly.
We can tell you:
- the date benefit started and ended
- the weekly amount of benefit
- if there is a shortfall you must collect the rent your tenant owes you
- how often we pay
- how much we are taking direct from benefit to recover an overpayment.
Page last updated: 17/01/2018