Benefits Guidance

We offer advice on a range of housing and council tax benefit issues as well as some other Department of Work and Pensions benefits such as Income Support.

Additional Information

On other specific areas Benefits may be unable to help with the enquiry. In cases such as these we have given information in relation to outside bodies.

Right of Appeal

If you are not happy with the decisions made about the assessment of your claim you may ask for it to be looked at again or you can appeal against the decision. Your appeal will be heard by the Tribunal Service who are an independent service responsible for hearing appeals on decisions on social security, child support, tax credit etc. There are however certain decisions which you cannot appeal against.

You should write to the Benefits Section within ONE CALENDAR MONTH of the decision letter explaining what you think is wrong. Your claim will be looked at again and if the decision is wrong it will be changed. If the decision is correct we will write to you and explain how the claim was calculated.

If you are still not happy with the decision and you wish to appeal you should write to the Benefits Section explaining what you think is wrong. Details of your claim will be sent to the Tribunals Service.

Tenants Rights

The Citizens Advice Bureau or the Councils Housing Advisory Section can give you advice about your rights as a tenant.

Working Tax Credit/Child Tax Credit

Working Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit are both taken into account when assessing your housing and council tax benefit. You therefore must inform us if you are awarded either or both of these tax credits. For information about claiming these credits please contact the Inland Revenue.

Income Support and Job Seekers Allowance

Both Income Support and Job Seekers Allowance are awarded by the Department for Work and Pensions. Income Support and Job Seekers Allowance are taken into account when assessing your housing and council tax benefit. You must therefore notify us if you receive either of these two benefits. For information on entitlement to these two benefits please contact the Department for Work and Pensions.

National Welfare Benefits

The  Department for Work and Pensions deal with many other types of National Welfare Benefits. We need to know if you are receiving any National Welfare Benefit. For further information on National Welfare Benefits please contact the Department for Work and Pensions.

Evidence to support an application for benefit.

The Housing Benefit regulations require us to obtain proof of the information we are given. We cannot award housing benefit until you provide certain documents. This means we need to see evidence to support your application. This evidence must be original documents. The application form advises you of the type of evidence we need to see. If for any reason you are unable to provide all the evidence required you must return your benefit application form without delay. You may supply the information when it becomes available. However, your claim will not be assessed until all the information/evidence has been received.

How much rent and council tax should I pay while waiting for my claim to be assessed?

We advise you to pay as much rent and council tax as you can afford whilst we are dealing with your claim. This is to avoid large arrears on both accounts as maximum benefit may not always be awarded.