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 a single person of pension age; or
  • they are a couple both over pension age; or
  • they are living in a property where they receive support from the landlord or an agency on behalf of the landlord; or
  • they are living in temporary accommodation housed by Southend on Sea Borough Council; or
  • they have been in receipt of Income Support, Income Based Job Seekers Allowance, Employment and Support Allowance Income Related or Housing Benefit within the last month of needing to claim Universal Credit; and they have been entitled to Severe Disablement Premium as part of any of the incomes listed above.

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 Universal Credit area on the GOV.UK website.

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: 21/05/2019