Guide to Housing Benefit
Housing Benefits assist with help towards paying rent and is available to people on a low income, what they are entitled to depends up on the type of accommodation they live in, the size of their family and the amount of money they have coming in each week.
If you own your own home, or are paying a mortgage to buy your own home, you are only able to claim Council Tax Support or a Second Adult Rebate to assist in paying your Council Tax.
Please refer to the Council Tax Support page for further details.
If you live in accommodation which is rented from a private landlord or Registered Social Landlord (Housing Association), then you could qualify for help with your rent and your Council Tax.
Please Note: Post codes served by the Ilkeston and Long Eaton Job Centres within Erewash have come under the Full Digital Universal Credit Service.
All new applications should be for Universal Credit unless they fall into one of the exempt catergories, which are tenants in exempt supported or temporary accommodation, those with 3 or more children and those of Pension Credit age.
If you are liable to pay rent and Council Tax at your address the housing costs (which would previously be Housing Benefit) will be included in your Universal Credit award and paid monthly.
Universal Credit will be administered by the Department for Work and Pensions and paid on a monthly basis. Information on eligibility and how to make a claim can be found on the gov.uk website.
Council Tax Support should be claimed online below. If you do not make a claim for Council Tax Support you will then be liable to meet the full Council Tax charge.
How do I make a claim?
Make a claim online - PLEASE NOTE: It is now neccessary to have an online account to make a new claim for benefit.
Please read the questions carefully before completing. Every question must be answered, and you must provide all the evidence requested. If you fail to do so, you will be asked to provide further information and this will lead to a delay in your claim being processed.
If you are in receipt of Income Support or Jobseekers Allowance (Income Based) or Guarantee Pension Credit you can complete a form issued by the Job Centre Plus or Pension Service.
What date will my entitlement start?
If you are in receipt of Income Support, Jobseekers Allowance (Income Based) or Guarantee Pension Credit, and have made a claim with us within one calendar month of the start of that benefit, any Council Tax Support will be paid from the Monday following the start of your Income Support or Jobseekers Allowance (Income Based) or Guarantee Pension Credit award.
All other claim types commence from the Monday following the date of first contact if that claim form is returned within one calendar month of the first contact date. If the claim form is received outside the one calendar month deadline then the date of claim will be the date the claim form is received in the office and the date of entitlement being the Monday following that date.
How benefit will be calculated
All income is assessed on a weekly basis. If you or your partner have "earned income" (that is, wages, salary or profits from a business), deductions are made for Tax, National Insurance and half of any pension contributions made.
Certain categories of income are "disregarded" in whole or in part for example Disability Living Allowance, Family Maintenance and Child Benefit.
If you or your partner are under 60 and have capital of between £6,000 and £16,000, additional income of £1 per week for every £250 (or part £250) is treated as income. This will be shown as "Capital Income" on any Benefit Notification.
If you or your partner are 60 or over and have capital of between £10,000 and £16,000, additional income of £1 per week for every £500 (or part £500) is treated as income. This will be shown as "Capital Income" on any Benefit Notification.
Applicable amounts are the assumed living costs of individual households for the purposes of the Housing Benefit and Council Tax Support Schemes. These amounts are specified in Government Regulations. For further details of how your applicable amount is calculated please visit the Department for Work and Pensions website.
How it's paid
Housing Benefit should be paid directly to a claimant, however in certain circumstances payment can be made to the landlord on the claimants behalf.
Housing Benefit in most cases is paid by direct payment into a bank or building society account on a fortnightly basis in arrears where payment is to the claimant and four weekly in arrears where payment is made to the landlord.
When can a local authority make payments to the landlord?
The local authority is required to make direct payments to the landlord where it can be shown that the tenant is eight weeks or more in arrears with their rent.
Payment can also be made direct to the landlord where we decide that the tenant is:
- likely to have difficulty in managing their financial affairs
- unlikely to pay their rent
Who can ask for the payments to be made to the landlord?
Tenants, landlords, tenants’ families or people acting on the tenant’s behalf, may tell the local authority that they are having difficulty paying their rent, or are likely to. The local authority may also identify tenants who may have difficulty managing their money. Landlords can contact the local authority, especially if the tenant is getting into arrears with their rent. Each case is then treated on an individual basis and a decision made accordingly by the local authority. We will write to the tenant and explain our decision.
For further information you can download the How has my benefit been calculated leaflet.