Thinking of contacting us about your Council Tax or Housing Benefit?
You can use the Citizen Access Benefits portal to:
- make a claim
- view your claim and letters
- view your housing benefit entitlement
- tell us about any changes
How to Claim for Pensioners
If you are claiming Pension Credit, you should make a Housing Benefit and Council Tax Reduction claim through Jobcentre Plus or the Pension Service. Please note if you are a couple to claim Housing Benefit you both need to be over state retirement age. If one of you is under pension age then you will need to make a claim for Universal Credit. Please see our Universal Credit information page.
How to claim for Working Age
If you are claiming Council Tax Reduction only, or
If you are living in supported or temporary accommodation and you are on a low income you should make a new claim on our Citizen Access Benefits portal.
Claiming Backdated Housing Benefit
Sometimes we can pay you Benefit for a period before you made your claim. This is called Backdated Benefit. We can only do this if you have good reason for not making a claim earlier.
Some examples of good reasons include:
- if you were too ill to be able to make the claim yourself and no-one could claim on your behalf
- if you did not understand that you could claim, perhaps because of age, inexperience, language difficulties, difficulties in understanding technical documents or some other reason
- if you were wrongly told that you did not qualify for Housing Benefit
We can consider backdating your Housing Benefit up to 1 month for people of working age and 3 months for people over 60.
To apply for backdated Benefit, you need to tell us on the same online application form you complete for claiming Housing Benefit. You need to include the following information:
- the date you want us to backdate your Benefit to
- the reason why you did not claim earlier
- any supporting documentary proofs
Information to Support Your Claim
We need to see proof of your:
- National Insurance number
- rent (if claiming Housing Benefit)
We also need the same information for any adult also living in the property (excluding boarders, subtenants, and joint tenants).
The information that you put into your application form is transferred to our processing system. This is then calculated into a score of High, Medium or Low Risk. This is known as Risk Based Verification. Our policy and a list of acceptable proofs can be found in Related Downloads.
We will contact you to inform you of whether you need to bring your evidence in to support your claim via an interview, or whether you can send your original documents or photocopied documents through the post or via email.
You need to provide all supporting evidence as soon as possible to speed up the processing of your claim.
We are unable to start processing your claim without relevant proof. You will have one calendar month to provide any necessary proof from when you submit your form.