Information about benefit schemes to help people on low incomes pay their rent and council tax.
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What are housing benefit and council tax support?
Housing benefit and council tax support are schemes designed to help those on low incomes meet their rent and council tax payments.
Unlike many of the other national benefits that are administered by the Department for Work and Pensions, these income related benefits are administered locally by your council.
These rules are complex and claimants need to provide a great deal of original documentation to support their claim.
Housing benefit payment dates
Housing benefit for people renting from a private landlord is normally paid into tenants' bank accounts 2-weekly in arrears. Tenants are encouraged to set up standing orders for rent payments to their landlords.
In exceptional circumstances, payments of housing benefit can be paid to the landlord on the tenant's behalf and the council has the discretion to decide whether or not to do this.
If the council agrees to pay housing benefit to the landlord, payments will be made into the landlord's bank account 4-weekly in arrears in accordance with the law.
When a claim is first paid or if a large credit is awarded, the payment will be issued on the next available payment date and future payments will be made 2-weekly or 4-weekly, as stated above. The housing benefit award letter will give full details of the dates of payments.
How to calculate your benefit entitlement
For an instant estimate of your entitlement to housing benefit and/or council tax support, use the Online Benefits Calculator
The process is simple and straightforward, however, only an estimate of entitlement can be given. A claim form will need to be completed in order that a full assessment can be done.