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How do I apply for help with my rent or Council Tax?

Help to pay my rent - UNIVERSAL CREDIT (working-age only)

If you are applying for, or already getting Universal Credit (UC), you should receive a 'Housing Element' payment to help pay your rent, which will be included in your UC payment. You will be expected to make your UC claim online at

If you need help filling in the online form, please contact Citizens Advice.

Help to pay my Council Tax - LOCAL COUNCIL TAX SUPPORT

Universal Credit does not include help with the cost of your Council Tax, so if you need help towards this make sure you claim help from the Council as soon as possible. Please refer to the section below 'To make a claim online'.


Help to pay my rent - HOUSING BENEFIT

There are a small number of people who are unable to have their housing costs paid as part of their Universal Credit, so can still claim Housing Benefit. You can claim Housing Benefit if:-

  • you, and your partner if you have one, have reached the qualifying age for Pension Credit (to check your state pension age please visit
  • you have been placed into temporary accommodation by our housing team; or
  • you are living in supported accommodation and receive care, support or supervision from your landlord (or other organisation on your landlords' behalf)
  • If you have any questions about the accommodation you are in and are unsure which benefit to claim, please ask the Benefit Team for further advice before claiming.

To MAKE A CLAIM online

To make a claim for Local Council Tax Support (or Housing Benefit  if you fall in to one of the categories above) you will need to complete an online application form. You must start an online claim form as soon as you decide you want to claim. You will then be given the option to save it, or complete and submit it to us.


If you are already getting some benefit to help pay your rent or Council Tax but the amount you get doesn't cover the full amount, extra help may be available. Please follow this link to read more about Discretionary Payments.

If you would prefer to talk to us about this before applying, please get in touch on 023 9254 5325.



Are you already claiming Housing Benefit/Council Tax Support and want to tell us about a change in your circumstances ?

Tell us ONLINE and ON TIME!

Complete the online change of circumstance form AND attach any documents to evidence your change here

Where any additional information is needed to process your claim, we will contact you to tell you about this. We will contact you by telephone, text, email or by letter.

Here are some examples of changes that may affect the amount of benefit you are entitled to:-

  • you start or leave a job;
  • any of your children leave school or leave home;
  • you stop paying Child Care charges;
  • anyone moves into or out of your home (including lodgers and sub-tenants);
  • if you cease to be entitled to Income Support or Jobseekers Allowance;
  • your income or the income of anyone living with you, including benefits and Tax Credits, changes;
  • your capital, savings or investments change;
  • you or anyone living with you becomes a student, goes on a Youth Training Scheme, goes into hospital or a nursing home, goes into prison, or gets, changes or leaves a job;
  • your rent or your landlord changes;
  • you move address;
  • you or your partner are going to be away from home for more than a month;
  • you receive any decision from the Home Office

If you are unsure about what you need to tell us, or if need any further information regarding Housing Benefit or LCTS, please contact the Benefits Section on (023) 9254 5325. or email

For more information about electronic communications, see the  Electronic Communications Directive (PDF) [158KB]  authorising us to do this.

Local Council Tax Support (LCTS)

Local Housing Allowance

Housing Benefit Size Criteria and The Benefit 'CAP'

Do you know someone who is claiming benefit to which they may not be entitled?

If the answer to the above question is yes, telephone this office on (023) 9254 5545 giving full details so that allegations can be investigated.  Alternatively, fill out our online form Benefit fraud.
Any information provided will be treated in the strictest confidence.

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