Housing Benefits

What is Housing Benefit?

Housing Benefit helps you pay your rent if you are on a low income. The amount of housing benefit due to you is worked out by looking at:

  • how much money you have coming in
  • your personal circumstances and the amount of rent you have to pay
  • the amount of savings you have (more than £16,000 will normally disqualify you)
  • the allowance for tenants renting in the private sector is known as Local Housing Allowance and the rates are set separately by the Valuation Office Agency.

Use the Directgov benefits calculator to see what help you can get.

Who does the scheme apply to?

  • Pension Credit Age claimants. Please contact the Council to check whether you are a pension credit age claimant if unsure.
  • Working age claimants who do not live within the Full Service for Universal Credit. To check whether you fall within a postcode affected by Universal Credit please use the Universal Credit postcode check.
  • Working age claimants who live within the Full Service for Universal and whose tenancy includes care, support or supervision which is required to occupy the accommodation. In this instance you will still claim Universal Credit for your personal income but will claim Housing Benefit for your housing costs.
  • Working-age claimants who live within the Full Service for Universal Credit and who have 3 or more children.
  • Working-age claimants who live within the Full Service for Universal Credit and who currently receive Housing Benefit and do not need to make a new claim for one of the benefits covered by Universal Credit (Income Support / Jobseekers Allowance / Employment & Support Allowance / Child Tax Credits / Working Tax Credits).
  • You currently live within the district and receive Housing Benefit and move to another property that is within the district and do not need to apply for one of the benefits covered by Universal Credit.

How do I claim?

If you are not sure if you qualify, make a claim. You can get an application form from our headquarters or you can download the form now. Alternatively you can request a form by calling our contact centre on 01789 260991.

Things to remember:

  • hand your application in as soon as you can

  • provide all the supporting evidence, we cannot pay your benefit until we have seen all the evidence we have asked for

  • you won't get any benefit if you don't claim

The evidence that you need to provide:

  • National Insurance numbers for you and your partner

  • identity (two documents per person)

  • capital, savings and investments

  • earnings

  • other income

  • benefits, allowances or pensions

  • private rent and tenancy

Reporting Change in Circumstances

Please remember that you are required to report changes in circumstances which may affect the level of benefit that you received.

Reporting changes is easy:-

  • You can print off a proforma change in circumstance form to send in
  • Simply write in to the Council with details of the change
  • Call the Council on 01789 260991 to report the change
  • Call into the Council's offices at Elizabeth House to report the change in person

Please note that the Council will now consider applying a Civil Penalty of £50 if you fail to report a change in circumstance which results in an overpayment of Housing Benefit.

Making an Appeal Against a Decision

For decisions of Housing Benefit, If you disagree with the decision contained in this letter you can:

  • ask for a detailed explanation of the decision, or
  • ask us to review our decision known as a reconsideration, or
  • you have the right to make a formal appeal.

You must apply for an explanation / reconsideration or appeal in writing to the Benefit Section within one month of the date of the award letter. Requests received after the month time period will be dealt with as "out of time" and it may depend upon the Tribunal Service as to whether your appeal will be accepted.

You should include which part of the decision would like clarifying or the decision you disagree with, the reason why you think it is wrong and any other supporting evidence or information.

Your request must be signed.

Applying for a Discretionary Housing Payment

Discretionary Housing Payments (DHP) are additional payments that can be made by the Local Authority to assist you with your housing costs that are not currently being met by Housing Benefit or Universal Credit. The payments are from a limited budget which is set by Central Government.

To apply for assistance online, download a DHP form now. You may want to look at the Frequently Asked Questions for completing the online Discretionary Housing Payment (DHP) form. see DHP FAQs

If you are unable to complete the online application form please contact the Council on 01789 260991 where assistance can be provided to assist you making a claim.

Are you a landlord?

Helpful information is available for landlords looking to find out more about housing benefit in relation to tenant.

Visit our Landlords and Housing Benefit page.

Privacy Notice

Stratford-on-Avon District Council will use your personal data which may include special data about you to assess and administer your Housing Benefit and/or Local Council Tax reduction Scheme claim under the Housing Benefit Regulations and the Council's Local Council Tax Reduction Scheme. We may share your information with other Council departments etc. We do this in the performance of the tasks that we carry out in the public interest, in the exercise of our official authority and because it is in the substantial public interest. Your personal data will be held in accordance with our Retention and Destruction Policy which is available on our website. For further information, or to access your information rights, please visit www.stratford.gov.uk/privacy or contact our Data Protection Officer by post at our Elizabeth House address or email data.protection@stratford-dc.gov.uk or call 01789 267575


If you suspect anyone of fraud please call 01789 260486 or email fraud@stratford-dc.gov.uk. For further information about how the council the council deals with fraud please see our fraud statement.

For further information please contact Revenues on 01789 260991 or by email at benefits.sdc@stratford-dc.gov.uk or by fax on 01789 260969.

Last updated on 16/07/2018

Contact the Revenues & Benefits team