Housing Benefit and Council Tax Support

Can I apply?

If you are on a low income and need help towards paying your rent or Council Tax, use our online calculator to see if you may be entitled to Housing Benefit or Council Tax Support.

  1. What is Housing Benefit?

    Housing Benefit is a national welfare benefit, given by Councils, to those on a low income who need help with paying their rent.

    You do not need to be unemployed to apply for Housing Benefit.

    Housing Benefit can only be given where there is a liability to pay rent, it cannot help to pay a mortgage.

    It can help towards paying your rent. How much you get depends on your income and your circumstances.

  2. What is Council Tax Support?

    Council Tax Support is a national scheme for those who have reached pensionable age and a local scheme for working age people to help reduce the amount of Council Tax you pay.

    If you are on a low income, whether you're working or not, and are liable to pay Council Tax, you may be entitled to apply for Council Tax Support.

    Council Tax Support is an income based discount applied to your Council Tax account.

    If you receive Universal Credit, we must use the income details provided by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).

    Council Tax Support differs depending on your age:

    • If you are of working age:
      • The maximum help you can get through Council Tax Support is 85% of your charge after any other discounts or exemptions have been applied. This means, whatever your income, you will be liable to pay 15% of your charge.
      • Your Council Tax Support will be restricted to the charge for a band C property.
    • If you have reached state pension credit age:
      • Your Council Tax Support will be calculated based on 100% of the charge, so depending on your income you could get the whole charge covered through Council Tax Support.

    If you have reached state pension credit age but have a partner who is working age and in receipt of Income Support, Jobseeker's Allowance (Income Based) or Employment & Support Allowance (Income Related) the rules of the working age scheme will apply to you.

  3. Am I eligible?

    You are unlikely to get Housing Benefit if:

    • You receive or have applied for Universal Credit (Universal Credit includes help towards your rent)
    • You have savings of over £16,000 (unless you are receiving the 'guarantee credit' of Pension Credit)
    • You live in the home of a close relative
    • You're a full-time student (unless you're disabled or have children)
    • You're an asylum seeker or are sponsored to be in the UK
    • You owned your home within the last 5 years and are now liable to pay rent
    • You are liable to pay a mortgage because you own your home, and do not pay rent

    You are unlikely to get Council Tax Support if:

    • You have savings of over £16,000 (unless you are receiving the 'guarantee credit' of Pension Credit)
    • You have savings of over £6,000 and are of working age (unless you are getting an income based state benefit)
    • You have come to the UK from abroad and do not meet the criteria to claim
    • You are already exempt from paying Council Tax

  4. How much Housing Benefit and Council Tax Support will I get?

    Use the 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. 

    The calculator only provides an estimate and there is a chance that the amount of Housing Benefit or Council Tax Support may vary when you make a claim.

Apply for Housing Benefit and Council Tax Support

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