Coronavirus - updates and advice about Housing Benefit and Council Tax Support

New claims and changes

Information about making a new claim
Most working age people will need to claim Universal Credit to get help with their rent costs. But you'll need to contact us to claim help with your Council Tax.  Please ring to request a form, or you can apply online.

As our offices are now closed to visitors, you won’t be able to bring your claim form in.  Please send it by post or email.  We’ll accept photocopied, scanned or photographed documents rather than originals at this time. If you can’t copy your documents, please let us know.

Information about changes in your circumstances
If you need to report a change in your circumstances, please use our online form or email details of your change. We’ll accept photocopied, scanned or photographed documents rather than originals at this time. If you can’t copy your documents, please let us know.

Extra Council Tax Support for working age households

Working age Council Tax payers who get Council Tax Support (CTS) will be entitled to a further reduction in their Council Tax for 2020/21.  We’ll credit your account with an extra £150 (or if your balance is less than that, then until your Council Tax bill is zero).

We've processed this automatically for existing claims, so you don’t need to contact us.  If you make a new claim and qualify for CTS in 2020/21  then we'll award the extra amount automatically. Please sign up to online e-billing so that you get your amended Council Tax demand notice quickly.

Visit our Council Tax coronavirus page for some flexible options around how and when you pay your bill.

Local Housing Allowance

Local Housing Allowance (LHA) rates have been increased from April to cover up to 30% of the market rent in your area. The new LHA rates are shown here.

We’ve adjusted existing benefit claims automatically and sent new award letters out.  You can also view your letter if you have signed up for online services.

Increase in the Additional Earnings Disregard

We’ve recalculated entitlement for households where you or your partner are working, and you are or would be entitled to Working Tax Credit. This is because the basic rate of Working Tax Credit has increased and you could lose out in your Housing Benefit or Council Tax Support. We’ve done this automatically so you don’t need to contact us, and sent out new award letters to explain the changes.

Other help

Council Tax flexibility
Council Tax flexible payment options around how and when you pay your bill.

Discretionary Housing Payments
If you're getting Housing Benefit or the housing element of Universal Credit, you may be able to get extra help if you're struggling to pay the rest of the rent yourself.

Council Tax Discretionary Discount fund
If you're getting Council Tax Support but still have problems meeting your Council Tax payments, you may be able to get extra help.

Websites giving advice on what help is available if you are affected by coronavirus

Universal Credit
Most working age people will need to claim Universal Credit rather than Housing Benefit to get help with their rent.  The standard allowance in Universal Credit has been increased by £1,000 a year.

Entitled to
Advice about what help is available from benefits if you are affected by coronavirus, including an online benefits calculator.

Shelter
Advice on your rights and the latest legislation, including information about social and private renters being protected from eviction if affected by coronavirus.

Citizens Advice
Check what to do if coronavirus affects your work, benefits or travel.

More information

We’ll update this help page when things change.

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Last updated: Fri 7 August, 2020 @ 12:51