Can I Claim Benefit?

You can make a claim for Housing Benefit and Council Tax Reduction if:

  • you pay rent to a private landlord, housing association, or a council property. You cannot claim Housing Benefit if you rent from close relatives or if the landlord also lives in the same property.

Please note if you are a mixed aged couple (meaning that one of you is under pension age) then you will need to claim your housing costs through Universal Credit unless you fall under any of the exemptions. Please see our Universal Credit information page.

  • you have to pay Council Tax on your home. But if you live in a property that is band E or higher you will only be paid up to the amount for a band D property
  • your savings are less than £16,000 for Housing Benefit and £6000 for Council Tax Reduction applications
  • you work full time or part time (employed or self-employed) and get a low wage
  • you get Benefit or Tax Credit from the Department for Work and Pensions, the Inland Revenue or any other low income

Payment on Two Homes

Housing Benefit is normally only paid for one home at a time. However, there are some exceptions where the council may consider paying benefit on two homes. These exceptions are:

  • you have moved into rented accommodation due to fear of violence - The council will look at the circumstances. There must be an intention to return to the property that you have had to leave. You may be entitled to have payment on two homes up to 52 weeks.
  • you are a student/trainee, one of a couple and have to live in separate rented accommodation - The council will have to decide whether living in different properties was unavoidable.
  • you have a large family and the council has housed you in two properties
  • you have moved to a new home which you have to pay rent for, but still have to pay rent for a period of time on the old property. This is known as unavoidable overlapping liability - The council has to be satisfied that you could not have avoided paying rent on two homes for this period of time.

To make a claim

If you are requesting Payment on two homes due to; Fear of violence, Student/Trainee or as part of a large family unable to live together. You should:

  • send your request in writing including your Housing Benefit reference number and
  • provide evidence to show that you have to pay rent for both the addresses at the same time; and
  • explain why you cannot avoid paying rent for both addresses at the same time

If you are requesting Payment on Two Homes due to unavoidable overlapping responsibility you will need to complete an application form. Please go to MySouthend and complete the form.

Contact Benefits

Telephone: 01702 215001

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