Evidence and Information for Housing Benefit / Council Tax Support

When you make a claim for Housing Benefit/Council Tax support, you will be expected to provide certain information. This is so that we can check that what you have written on your claim form is right. We will also need information for your ‘non-dependants’ income.  During the life of your claim you may also need to report changes.

Any information or evidence supplied in support of a new claim or a change of circumstances must be up to date and must be an original copy, it cannot be a photocopy. We do accept scanned copies of the original documents.

We have listed below the types of information you may be asked for and why.

This information can be provided online. 

Online

You can now make a claim for Housing Benefit and Council Tax Support online.

You can also supply evidence and information to support your claim or to update your existing claim, by completing our additional online forms;

If you are ever unhappy with any decision we make about your benefit claim you can ask us to look at it again.  If you are still unhappy after your claim has been reviewed you may want to make an appeal.  This must be done in writing which you can do online. 

If you need further help with your rent because your Housing Benefit does not cover the full amount you can apply for a Discretionary Housing Payment online.

Identity

Accepted evidence:

  • current and valid passport
  • current full or provisional driving licence (photo or paper)
  • National Insurance number cards
  • birth certificates
  • marriage certificate
  • medical cards
  • UK residency permits
  • recent utility bills (not council tax or mobile phone bills)
  • identity cards
  • Home Office papers
  • B79 form for notice that you have been released from prison
  • letter from solicitor, social worker, probation officer, doctor or HM Revenue and customs
  • certificate of employment in HM forces or Merchant Navy

This evidence is necessary to verify who you are and confirm where you live to prevent fraud. A check can be made by providing these documents. These documents must be up-to-date.

Earned income

Accepted evidence:

  • wage slips – either two monthly, five weekly or three fortnightly (hand written pay slips are not acceptable)
  • a certificate of earnings form completed by your employer can also be accepted.
  • if you are self employed a ‘self employed’ form and business accounts will be required to determine your income. 

This is necessary to calculate your average weekly income correctly.

If you do not have any evidence of your earned income the following document is available for you to download.

This should be completed by your employer and returned to confirm your earnings.   

Other income received

For example, any income other than wages or payments which you do not directly earn.

Accepted evidence:

  • pension advice slips for all pensions received
  • evidence of any money paid to you for board and lodgings
  • adult maintenance - court order  
  • we may ask for bank statements if your income cannot be verified any other way

This is to enable us to calculate any other income you get.

Capital and savings

Capital and savings must be declared on the Housing Benefit and Council Tax support claim form.

If your capital and savings total less than £6,000 and you are working age you do not need to send in evidence. (We may ask for bank statements if your income cannot be verified any other way).

If your capital and savings total less than £10,000 and you have reached state pension credit age you do not need to send in evidence. (We may ask for bank statements if your income cannot be verified any other way.)

Please use the state pension calculator to find out if you have reached state pension credit age.

Accepted evidence:

  • two months consecutive bank statements are required for all bank accounts (including post office accounts) or building society accounts held even if they are nil balance or overdrawn
  • some building societies only have bankbooks we require the original book (it must be up-to-date before it is handed in)
  • any premium bonds, National Savings, ISA’s, Stocks, Shares and Unit trust certificates
  • details of any second property

This evidence is necessary because

  • if you are at a pensionable age, to qualify for Housing Benefit and Council Tax Support you must have less than £16,000 in capital and savings
  • if you are working age, to qualify for Housing Benefit you must have less than £16,000 in capital and savings 
  • if you are working age,to qualify for Council Tax Support you must have less than £6,000 in capital and savings

In order for us to have a ‘complete picture’ of your personal circumstances we need to establish how much you have in total. Benefits are for the more ‘vulnerable people’ in our community and therefore this is reflected in your entitlement.

Residency

Accepted evidence:

  • tenancy agreement – this must be original, up-to-date and we require all pages for it to be accepted. Providing a photocopy or an old out of date agreement will delay your claim
  • rent book or rent receipts
  • a letter from your landlord stating the date the tenancy started, the rent charged and the services included in the rent
  • recent utility bills (not council tax or a mobile phone bill)
  • TV licence
  • confirmation of rent supplied by us for your landlord to complete.

This evidence is required as Housing Benefit (HB) is only paid on rented properties for those who can show there is an agreement that you pay a rent in order to live in the property. If you do not have

If you do not have any of the above evidence for your rent the following document is available for you to download.

This should be completed by your Landlord and returned to confirm your rental agreement.

Benefits

Accepted evidence:

  • any DWP award notices, these could include Child Benefit, Attendance Allowance, Disability Living Allowance, Personal independence payments, Incapacity Benefit, Income Support, Job Seekers Allowance (income based and contribution based), Pension Credit, Industrial Disabilities Benefit, Carers Allowance, Severe Disability Allowance, Maternity, Paternity, Employment Support Allowance, Personal Independence payment
  • Working Tax Credits and Child Tax Credit award letters
  • War Pensions award letters (widows war pension)
  • disabilities – such as ‘register blind’ (require registration certificate)

When taking other benefits into consideration as part of your income, some will be disregarded or have an underlying entitlement. We need to know everything that comes into the household to determine the correct level of benefit award. 

Payments

Accepted evidence:

  • letters about student grants
  • maintenance agreements
  • receipts from childminders

Grants are still classed as an income as it is money received and therefore is included.  Some child costs can be disregarded dependent on individual circumstances. 

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