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Housing Benefit and Council Tax Support

Apply for Housing Benefit and Council Tax Support

Housing Benefit can help you pay your rent if you’re unemployed, on a low income or claiming benefits.

The rules about Housing Benefit ad Council Tax Support depend on whether you are of working age or you have reached the age for state pension.

  1. Working age

    Housing Benefit

    If you need help to pay your rent and any housing costs, you will need to apply for Universal Credit (UC).

    There are some exceptions to this, e.g. if you are in supported, sheltered or temporary housing. To find out more information about this visit the gov.uk website.

    The quickest and easiest way to apply is online. We can no longer post paper application forms.

    If you are applying for Housing Benefit you do not need to fill out a separate form for Council Tax Support.

    Working age Housing Benefit can be backdated for up to 1 month and Council Tax Support to the start of the financial year. A request for backdating can be completed on your initial claim for or make a backdated request.   

    You must include the date you wish your claim to start and the reason for the delay in submitting the form.

    Apply for Housing Benefit and Council Tax Support

    If you have started a new application online and saved it, you can recover your saved application form.

    Council Tax Support

    From 1 April 2021, for people of working age, we will work out council tax support using our local income band scheme.

    If you live in a property that is either band D, E, F, G or H, we work out support based on council tax payable for a band C property. This means the most we can give will be 100% of the council tax payable for a band C property.

    If you live in a band A, B or C property, the maximum council tax support will be 100% of your council tax bill.

    You will not get council tax support if you have more than £6,000 in capital or savings.

    Apply for Council Tax Support

    Read our full Council Tax Support Scheme Policy here

  2. State Pension Age

    Housing Benefit

    If you have reached State Pension Age you can make a claim for Housing Benefit however, there are some exceptions to this, e.g. if your partner is still working age. To find out more information about this visit the gov.uk website.

    The quickest and easiest way to apply is online. We can no longer post paper application forms.

    If you are applying for Housing Benefit you do not need to fill out a separate form for Council Tax Support.

    Pension age Housing Benefit and Council Tax Support can be backdated for up to 3 months. A request for backdating can be completed on your initial claim for or make a backdated request.   

    You must include the date you wish your claim to start and the reason for the delay in submitting the form.

    Apply for Housing Benefit and Council Tax Support

    If you have started a new application online and saved it, you can recover your saved application form.

    Council Tax Support

    We will work out council tax support under a scheme decided by the Government. The most you will get will be based on the council tax you pay for your home.

    If you don’t qualify for council tax support in your own right, you could get second adult rebate. If the person who shares your home is:

    • aged 18 or over
    • not a boarder or sub-tenant
    • not your spouse or partner
    • not paying Council tax themselves
    • on a low income

    You may be able to get a rebate of up to 25% of what you have to pay.

    You will not get council tax support if you have more than £16,000 in capital or savings (unless you get guarantee credit).

    Apply for Council Tax Support

  3. Backdated claims

    It may be possible for a Housing Benefit claim or Council Tax Support application to start from an earlier date.

    A request for backdating must be completed on your initial claim form or make a backdated request.   

    You must include the date you wish your claim to start and the reason for the delay in submitting the form.

    The maximum period a claim can be backdated for Housing Benefit is:

    • 1 month for working age claimants or
    • 3 months for state pension credit age claimants

    The maximum period a claim can be backdated for Council Tax Support is:

    • 6 months for working age claimants or
    • 3 months for state pension credit age claimants

  4. I need more support with paying my rent or Council Tax

    Discretionary Housing Payment (DHP) is an add-on benefit that can be given to people who are receiving Housing Benefit or Universal Credit housing element that does not cover their full rent costs and have special circumstances making them suffer financial hardship.

    DHPs are given for a few weeks or months to help people while they improve their circumstances.

    Council Tax Hardship is an add-on benefit that can be given to people who are getting Council Tax Support and have special circumstances making them suffer financial hardship.

    Council Tax Hardship is given for a few weeks or months to help people while they improve their circumstances.

    You can apply for discretionary payments online

    If you apply for hardship and it is not given, or you are not satisfied with the amount of the benefit or the length of time it has been given, you can request a review of the decision.

  5. How much Benefit am I likely to get?

    Use an online calculator to get an approximate idea, based on the information you give, of how much Housing Benefit or Council Tax Support you could receive.


    Make sure that you have your personal details, such as weekly or monthly wages and rent payable, available.

Upload evidence

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