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Claim Housing Benefit or Council Tax Reduction

Thinking of contacting us about your Council Tax or Housing Benefit? ...No need!

If you register for MySouthend you can have access to your Council Tax bills, make payments, view your account, check your housing benefit entitlement, payment dates and notifications, and now tell us about changes using our new MySouthend forms, all from your secure online account.

To find out more, see the About MySouthend page.

To register, or sign in to your MySouthend account.

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 in order 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.

If you are claiming Pension Credit, you should make a Housing Benefit and Council Tax Reduction claim through Jobcentre Plus or the Pension Service.

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 complete our online Housing Benefit and Council Tax Reduction form.

In order to make a claim you will need to register for MySouthend. You can do this by visiting the MySouthend page. 

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 proof

Information to Support Your Claim

We need to see proof of your:

  • income
  • identity
  • 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).

Southend on Sea Borough Council now falls under Risk Based Verifcation. This means that for all new claims we have to follow a process which determines how much evidence to support your claim is required and what type of evidence we can receive.

Every new claim will be given a risk score. The scores range from 1 to 15, score 1 to 3 is considered high risk, score 4 to 7 is considered medium risk and score 8 to 15 is considered low risk.

Below is an explanation of  the scores showing whether we can accept originals or photocopies.

High Risk Scores

1              requires an interview with the claimant is done

2 – 3       require original documents

Medium Risk Scores

4 – 5       require original documents

6 – 7       require original ID, photocopies for any other evidence

Low Risk Score

8 – 15  photocopies for all evidence

The information that you put into your application form is transferred to our processing system. This is then calculated into a score.

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 to You should endeavour to provide all supporting evidence as soon as able 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. The online application process is clear about what evidence you will need to supply to meet the claiming criteria.

Depending on your circumstances you may need to complete additional forms (found in Related Downloads at the bottom of this page) if you or your partner (if applicable):

  • do not have pay slips, you will need to complete the Certificate of Earned Income Form
  • have come to live in the UK within the last 2 years, you will need to complete the Persons From Abroad form
  • pay child care costs, you will need to send to your child minder the Childcare Expenses form
  • are self-employed and do not have audited accounts, you will need to complete the Self Employed Information form

All of the above forms once completed can be uploaded via the Evidence upload facility in MySouthend.

For more information on how to claim, additional forms, Risk Based Verification Policy and the list of Acceptable Proof please see our Related Downloads.

Page last updated: 29/05/2019