Online access to Council Tax Reduction and Housing Benefit services

Instructions for accessing your benefit claim, making a claim and reporting a change

On your Benefit citizen account you can do the following.

  • view your benefit claim details, award level, payments etc
  • view your benefit notifications online
  • report a change in your circumstances
  • apply for an additional benefit, for example apply for Council Tax Reduction if already in receipt of Housing Benefit or vice versa
  • make a New Claim
  • report a change of address
  • upload documents

Please note, to do the below you will need to have an email address linked to your Housing Benefit and/or Council Tax Reduction claim. A ‘Key’ is sent to that email address which allows you to access your records.

  • view your benefit claim details, award level, payments etc
  • view your benefit notifications online
  • report a change in your circumstances

If there is no email linked you will receive a warning message with a link to allow you to get the email linked and allow access. Please see section on ‘Linking an Email address’ for more on this.

Make a New Claim for Housing Benefit and/or Council Tax Reduction

  1. Log into your MySouthend account.
  2. Once you have logged in, go to the menu and click on ‘Benefits’ and then select ‘View, Make a Claim, Notify Changes’
  3. From the section ‘Make a Claim’ select ‘Make a new claim’
  4. The new claim form will start with asking you who if you are the claimant. Complete all questions as instructed and all relevant sections reporting your household, income, capital, rent details and council tax liability as appropriate. Use the Next button to move through the pages

Once you have completed the first section on yourself, and your partner if you have one, you will see the relevant sections to complete your finance, rent and council tax details. The sections you see here will vary depending on which benefit you are applying for.

To complete each section, use the ‘Update These Details’ button and Save once complete. Once a section is complete it will show as Done.

  1. Once all sections are done, click on ‘Go to submit my claim’.
  2. You will see the Declaration that must be agreed to submit your claim
  3. The final page gives details on evidence that may be needed to support you claim and an area to upload any evidence you have at this time. However do not delay submission if you do not have the evidence available. The evidence can be provided after the form has been submitted (see later notes on Upload my Evidence)
  4. Click on ‘Submit My Claim’ when ready to submit the form.
  5. You will see confirmation that your claim has been submitted and reference number you should keep for your records. You can view, print or save a copy of your claim form at this point.

Please note: if you are in receipt of Housing Benefit and wish to apply for Council Tax Reduction, or in receipt of Council Tax Reduction and wish to apply for Housing Benefit you can use the ‘Apply for an additional type of benefit’ link in the ‘Make a Claim’ section.

Report a Change of Address

  1. Log into your MySouthend account.
  2. Once you have logged in, go to the main menu and click on ‘Benefits’ and then select ‘View, Make a Claim, Notify Changes’
  3. From the section ‘Report a change of address’ select ‘Report a change of address’
  4. The change of address form will start with confirming if you are the claimant. Complete all questions as instructed and all relevant sections.

Use the Next button to move through the pages

On the ‘Your Details’ page there is a question asking if you would like to report any changes to your household, income or capital as well as the change of address. If you select Yes to this question it will provide you with additional sections later in the form to record you new household, income or capital details.

Once you have completed the first section on yourself, and your partner if you have one, you will see the below with relevant sections to complete your finance, rent and council tax details. The sections you see here will vary depending on which benefit you are applying for and how you answered the above stated question on wanting to report other changes.

To complete each section use the ‘Update These Details’ button and Save once complete

Once a section is complete it will show as Done

  1. Once all sections are done, click on ‘Go to submit my claim’.
  2. You will see the Declaration that must be agreed to submit your claim
  3. The final page provides an area to upload any evidence you have at this time. However do not delay submission if you do not have the evidence available. The evidence can be provided after the form has been submitted (see later notes on Upload my Evidence)
  4. Click on ‘Submit My Claim’ when ready to submit the form.
  5. You will see confirmation that your claim has been submitted and reference number you should keep for your records. You can view, print or save a copy of your claim form at this point.

Report a Change of Circumstances

  1. Log into your MySouthend account.
  2. Once you have logged in, go to the main menu and click on ‘Benefits’ and then select ‘View, Make a Claim, Notify Changes’
  3. From the section ‘View your claim and letters or report a change of circumstances’ select ‘View my claim summary or report a change’.
  4. You will then see a security page ‘Citizen Access Benefits key’. Select ‘I Agree’ and ‘Request your Citizen Access Benefits Key’.
  5. You will then see a page to enter your details. This is used to identify the email address linked to your Benefit claim. Enter your details and click on ‘Request your Citizen Access Benefits Key’. A key will be sent to that linked email so you can access your records.
  • In order to report a change you will be sent a Key code to the email address linked to your Housing Benefit or Council Tax Reduction claim. If you do not have an email linked you will see a message with a link to use to provide your email address. The team will update your claim and advise that you can now access this area.
  1. The page will refresh to show the ‘Citizen Access Benefits Key’ field. Once you have your key (which will be a series of numbers and letters) enter it into the ‘Citizen Access Benefits Key’ field. Please be aware the field is case sensitive.
  2. You will then see a summary of your claim showing details of your current award levels, household and linked finance detail.
  3. In the top right of the screen, click on ‘Report a change of circumstances’
  4. You will be presented with a list of options of details you can notify a change against. This list will vary depending on the details held on your claim.
  5. Select the relevant change and click on Next
  6. You can then enter the details of the change and click Save
  7. You will be shown a screen where you can review the changes

Please note: If you want to report multiple changes select ‘Yes’ to the question ‘Do you need to report any other changes?’ and you will be returned to the list of changes you can report

  1. Click Next when all changes have been entered and you will be taken to the Declaration page. Read the declaration and Click on Agree.
  2. You will be taken to a page where you can upload any evidence you have in support of the notified changes.
  3. Upload any relevant evidence and then click on ‘Submit My Claim’
  4. Click on Finish

View your Claim Summary and Letters

  1. Log into your MySouthend account.
  2. Once you have logged in, go to the main menu and click on ‘Benefits’ and then select ‘View, Make a Claim, Notify Changes’
  3. From the section ‘‘View your claim and letters or report a change of circumstances’ select ‘View my claim summary or report a change’
  4. You will then see a page to enter your details. This is used to identify the email address linked to your Benefit claim. Enter your details and click on ‘Request your Citizen Access Benefits Key’. A key will be sent to that linked email so you can access your records.
  • In order to view your claim summary you will be sent a Key code to the email address linked to your Housing Benefit or Council Tax Reduction claim. If you do not have an email linked you will see a message with a link to use to provide your email address. The team will update your claim and advise that you can now access this area.
  1. The page will refresh to show the ‘Citizen Access Benefits Key’ field. Once you have your key (which will be a series of numbers and letters) enter it into the ‘Citizen Access Benefits Key’ field. Please be aware the field is case sensitive.
  2. You will then see a summary of your claim showing details of your current award levels, household and linked finance details

There are links for:

  • View Entitlements - calculations on your claim and the entitlement level those calculations awarded
  • View Payments - your Housing Benefit payments
  • View Letters - if you opted to receive e-notifications you can see your notification letters here

There is a link to report a change of circumstances. Selecting this will take you to the report a change page where you can select which details you wish to report a change against. See notes on ‘Reporting a Change in Circumstances’ for more.

Please note: if you have not signed up for e-notification letters you will not see the ‘View Letters’ link. For more on how to register for e-notifications see the next section on this page.

Register for E-Notifications

If you register for e-notifications your Housing Benefit and Council Tax Reduction benefit notifications will be visible on your Citizen Access account. You will receive an email notification whenever a new notification is loaded onto your account.

There are 2 ways to register

  1. From the section ‘View your claim and letters or report a change of circumstances’. Once you have received and entered your Citizen Access Benefit Key (see above notes for more on accessing this area), from the top right under Popular Services click on ‘Paperless entifications’

You will be presented with an area to fill in your email address to which the alert for any new notifications on your account will be sent. Complete and click on ‘I Agree’

  1. From the main Citizen Account page, accessed via ‘Benefits’ on the main menu of MySouthend and then  ‘View, Make a Claim, Notify Changes’, select ‘Register for on line letters’ under the section ‘View your claim and letters or report a change of circumstances’

You will be presented with a page to confirm your details. Complete and click on ‘I agree’

Once complete you will see a ‘Registration Complete’ message. You will now be able to see any new notifications issued as e notifications on your claim.

Upload Evidence

  1. Log into your MySouthend account.
  2. Once you have logged in, go to the main menu and click on ‘Benefits’ and then select ‘View, Make a Claim, Notify Changes’
  3. From the section ‘Evidence Upload’ select ‘Upload My Evidence’
  4. This will open the Upload My Documents page. Click on Next to move through the pages
  5. You will see a screen showing your details. You can amend or add to any fields as appropriate.
  6. At the bottom of the screen is a link to upload your documents.
  7. Once your documents have been uploaded, click on Submit My Documents

Linking an Email Address

To view your Claim Summary or Report a Change in Circumstance you will need to have an email address linked to your Housing Benefit and/or Council Tax Reduction claim. A ‘Key’ is sent to that email address which allows you to access your records.

If you do not have an email address linked when you try to access the Claim Summary/Report a Change area you will see a message with a link to provide your email address.

  1. Copy the link in the message into your browser. This will open the ‘Access to Benefit Claim Form’.
  2. The form will ask you to complete some details to link to your claim. Enter all fields and click on Continue in the bottom right of the screen.
  3. You will see a confirmation page to check the details entered are correct. Click on Submit in the top right when ready.

Your email address will be linked to your benefit claim and you will be contacted to advise that you can now access the area to view your claim summary or report a change in circumstances

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