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 gov.uk 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 Credit 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 three 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 / Jobseeker's Allowance / Employment & Support Allowance / Child Tax Credits / Working Tax Credits).
  • Claimants who live within the district and receive Housing Benefit and who move to another property within the district and do not need to apply for one of the benefits covered by Universal Credit.

How do I Claim?

You can download the form now.

Alternatively you can request a form by calling our contact centre on 01789 260991.

If you are not sure if you qualify, make a claim.

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.
  • Use the same form to claim help towards Council Tax (Local Council Tax Reduction).
  • You won't get any benefit if you don't claim.

The evidence 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 a Change in Circumstances

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

Reporting changes is easy:

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 relating to Housing Benefit, if you disagree with a decision you can:

  • ask for a detailed explanation of the decision
  • ask us to review our decision - known as a reconsideration
  • make a formal appeal

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

You should include which part of the decision you 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 (DHPs) are additional payments that can be made by the local authority to assist you with housing costs that are not currently being met by Housing Benefit or Universal Credit. The payments are from a limited budget 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 form.

If you are unable to complete the online application form please contact the council on 01789 260991, so we can 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 tenants.

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 see our Data Protection policy, contact our Data Protection Officer by post at our Elizabeth House address, email data.protection@stratford-dc.gov.uk or call 01789 267575.

Fraud

If you suspect anyone of fraud, please call 01789 260486 or email fraud@stratford-dc.gov.uk.

For further information about how the council deals with fraud, please see our Counter-Fraud Statement.

Further Information

For further information, please contact Revenues:

Last updated on 10/09/2018

Contact the Revenues & Benefits team