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New claims

Information about how to make a new claim for housing benefit and council tax support. We can also give you an estimate of how much you may be entitled to. You can only claim housing benefit if you:

  • are of pension age

  • live in specified accommodation

  • are entitled to the severe disability premium.

If you do not fall into one of the above categories, you must claim help towards your rent through Universal Credit.

If you have made a new claim for Universal Credit and you indicated that you wanted to make a claim for Local Council Tax Reduction on your application you do not need to make a claim for council tax support.

What is housing benefit and council tax support?

Housing benefit (HB) 

Housing benefit is a benefit for people on a low income. It helps you to pay for part or all of your rent. 

You cannot apply for housing benefit if you own your own home, have claimed universal credit or are of working age, unless you meet one of the following criteria:

  • Live in supported accommodation, you must be receiving care, support or supervision from your landlord or care provider
  • Live in temporary accommodation
  • Be entitled to the severe disability premium

Private tenants

If you rent your home from a private landlord your housing benefit will be calculated on the local housing allowance (LHA) rate appropriate to your household size and the area of the East Riding you live in.

The LHA rate will be the maximum amount of housing benefit you will be eligible to receive based on the number of bedrooms your household needs. This is not the amount of benefit you may receive.

The LHA is set annually each April by the Valuation Office Agency. 

To check which rate your housing benefit would be assessed on please follow the link below:

Check your LHA rate (external website)

Local authority or housing association tenants

If you rent your home from the council or a housing association your housing benefit will be calculated on the rent for your property less any ineligible services

Working-age customers

Your eligible rent figure may be restricted if you have a spare bedroom(s) based on the number of bedrooms required by your household.

The following size criteria apply, a bedroom will be allocated to:

  • a single adult or couple
  • 2 children under the age of 10 of the same or opposite sex
  • 2 children under the age of 16 of the same sex
  • each person aged 16 or over
  • any other child
  • a bedroom for a non-resident carer where overnight care has been determined.

There are additional rules for:

  • disabled children
  • foster carers
  • non-dependents who are in the armed forces.

What is the reduction?

  • A 14% reduction for those who are deemed to be under-occupying by one room
  • A 25% reduction for those who are deemed to be under-occupying by two or more rooms.

Council tax support (CTS) 

Council tax support is a means-tested council tax reduction. How much support you will receive will depend on your income and circumstances.

  • Working-age residents will receive a maximum of 75% support towards their council tax bill
  • Residents who are of state pension credit age are eligible to receive a maximum of 100% support towards their council tax bill.

Our local council tax support scheme applies to all working-age residents. Click on the link below to view full details of the local scheme;

Council tax support scheme regulations 2019/2020 (pdf 1mb)

Council tax support scheme regulations 2020/2021 (pdf 722kb)

The national council tax support scheme applies to all state pension credit age residents. View the full details of the scheme:

National council tax support scheme (pension age) (pdf 362kb)

Am I eligible to claim?

You may get housing benefit if:

  • you pay rent
  • you're on a low income or claiming benefits
  • you have savings less than £16,000.
  • meet the working age criteria above.

You may get council tax support if you are liable to pay council tax. 

You will not be eligible if: 

  • you have over £16,000  in savings unless you receive the guarantee credit element of pension credit
  • you live in the home of a close relative
  • you are a full-time student (unless you are disabled or have children
  • you are an asylum seeker or sponsored to be in the UK
  • you are residing in the UK as an European Economic Area jobseeker. 

Can I claim if I am a European Economic Area national and working? 

There are minimum earnings thresholds for nationals of European Economic Area countries:

Minimum earnings thresholds (external website) 

How much will I get?

Our online calculator provides you with an estimate of the amount of housing benefit and council tax support you may be entitled to.

To receive an accurate estimate of your entitlement please click on the link below, you will need details of your earnings, income, capital and any benefits you currently receive:

Calculate your entitlement online 

How do I apply for housing benefit and council tax support?

There are a number of different ways in which you can make an application:

The quickest way to apply for housing benefit and council tax support is online.

To avoid any delays, please have the following details ready: 

  • national insurance number for you and your partner 
  • all income for you and your partner 
  • any state benefits (for example, jobseeker's allowance or pension credit)
  • all bank accounts you and your partner have - even if they are overdrawn
  • the rent you are charged 
  • all other household members full names, date of birth and any income they receive.

  Apply for housing benefit and council tax support    

Customer service centre   

Visit one of our customer service centres where a member of the customer service team will help you to make a claim.

To make an appointment you can get in touch with us:

What proof do you need to see to support my application?

You will be required to provide the following documentation to support your application:

Identity for you and your partner

  • Birth certificate
  • Marriage certificate
  • Current passport
  • Medical card
  • Driving license in photo card format
  • UK residence permit
  • EEC identity card
  • Letter from a government department.

National Insurance number for you and your partner

  • National Insurance number card
  • P60 or Payslips
  • Letter from the Department for Works and Pensions (DWP).

The benefits team will contact you if they require any further documentation.

Other evidence you may be required to submit

  • Capital, savings and investments for you and your partner
  • Earnings for you, your partner and any other non-dependants living with you
  • Self-employed earnings for you and your partner
  • Other income for you, your partner and other adults living with you
  • Benefits, allowances or pensions for you, your partner and any other adults living with you
  • Your tenancy agreement and proof of rent paid
  • Childcare costs
  • Any other eligible expenses.

If you do not have any payslips, or if they are handwritten, you will need to ask your employer to complete the below form:

Certificate of earned income (pdf 72kb)

If you have childcare costs but do not have any receipts, please ask your childcare provider to complete the below form:

Childcare costs (pdf 44kb)

If you do not have a tenancy agreement or have no proof of your rent, please ask your landlord to complete the below form:

Landlord form (pdf 45kb)

If I qualify, when and how will I receive my benefit?

Housing benefit - Private tenant

Housing benefit is usually paid directly to the claimant 4 weekly in arrears by cheque or BACS. Housing association tenants can request that payments are made direct to their landlord.

Housing benefit - Council tenant

Housing benefit will be credited to your rent account. 

Council tax support

Council tax support is deducted directly from your council tax liability. You will be issued with a revised council tax bill advising you of any amount outstanding and details of how to pay. We can send you a text message when your claim is processed if you opt into this service.

More information about how to pay your council tax is available on the council tax payments page.

Can my claim be backdated? 

You can request that your claim is backdated, however, there is no automatic right to a backdate. Each request is considered on its own merits and you must show good cause throughout the period of your request.

I have somebody else living with me over the age of 18, who is not my partner, will this affect how much I will receive? 

The amount of housing benefit and council tax support you receive may be reduced if you have a non-dependant living with you. 

Non-dependants are people who normally share your accommodation but are NOT dependant on your financial support. Non-dependants are people such as grown-up children and elderly relatives.

The following people are NOT classed as being non-dependants:

  • carers employed by a charity that charges for the service
  • joint tenants
  • sub-tenants
  • boarders
  • tenants of owner properties
  • landlords and their partners. 

Will I be affected by the changes to Pension Credit from May 2019?

With effect from 15 May 2019, mixed-age couples (e.g. where one party of the couple is over Pension Credit qualifying age and the other is under that age) will no longer be able to decide whether they claim Housing Benefit (pension age), Pension Credit or Universal Credit.

Both parties of a couple will have to reach the Pension Credit qualifying age before they can be entitled to Housing Benefit (pension age) and/or Pension Credit. 

If you are a mixed-age couple and your new claim is due to start on or after 15 May 2019 please visit GOV.UK (external website) or you may ask for help from the Citizens Advice Bureau (external website).

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