You can claim by using our Online Housing Benefit and Council Tax Support Claim or Calculator to check your entitlement and make a claim.
Always claim as soon as you need help paying your rent - Housing Benefit is normally awarded from the Monday following the date you first contact us.
If you are receiving Housing Benefit and your circumstances change, you should notify us immediately by:
- Completion of Online Change in Circumstances form
- Email us email@example.com
- Write to the Benefits Section
Examples of changes that you must tell us about:
- Changes to your income, earnings, Tax Credits
- Changes to income of anyone living with your including non-dependants
- Any changes to the number of people living with you
- Changes to your tenancy, moving home, increases and decreases in rent charged
- If your savings go above £6,000
This list is not exhaustive, if in doubt contact us.
If you do not tell us within 1 month of the change, you may lose Housing Benefit if the change increases your entitlement. If the change decreases your entitlement, you may be overpaid and will have to repay it.
Overpaid housing benefit
Overpaid benefit occurs when more Housing Benefit is paid than some-one is entitled to.
The rules concerning overpayments are contained in the Housing Benefit Regulations. The Council has a duty to implement these regulations, and to recover overpayments from you and/or your landlords. In the case of a fraudulent overpayment, we may also decide to take criminal proceedings.
All overpayments are recoverable unless it was caused by official error, and whether or not you could reasonably have expected to know you were being overpaid.
Overpayments will normally be recovered from you. In certain circumstances, it is also possible to recover an overpayment from your landlord. Who we recover from depends on the reason for the overpayment and who Housing Benefit was being paid to.
If you are currently receiving Housing Benefit, the overpayment will be recovered by reducing the amount we pay you or your landlord. This is known as ‘weekly reclaim’ and you will need to ensure you pay the shortfall to your landlord to avoid falling into rent arrears.
If you are no longer receiving Housing Benefit, an invoice for the amount of the overpayment will be sent to you or, where applicable, your landlord. You can pay your invoice online, there are other payment options available, which are shown on the back of the invoice. If you cannot pay the full amount, you can contact the Benefits Section on 01252 774444 to discuss making an arrangement.
There is a right of appeal, for further information on reviews and the appeals process, see Appeals.