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You are here: Home  »  Tax/Benefits  »  Benefits  »  Housing Benefit FAQ's

Housing Benefit FAQ's

Frequently Asked Questions;

What is Housing Benefit and Council Tax Support?

When should I claim?

How much benefit am I likely to get?

Can I download a claim form?

Can I get all my rent paid?

How are Housing Benefit and Council Tax Support paid?

What happens if my circumstances change?

What if I disagree with the councils decision?

What can I do if I suspect someone is claiming benefit they are not entitled to?

I have been paid too much benefit, what will happen next?

Can I get Housing Benefit on two homes at the same time?

Am I entitled to Housing Benefit and Council Tax Support if I am away from home?

My Housing Benefit does not cover all my rent charge. Can I get extra help?



What is Housing Benefit and Council Tax Support?

Housing Benefit can help you pay your rent if you are on a low income. You can claim if you have to pay rent for the property you live in. You may be a council tenant, pay rent to a private landlord or a Housing Association. Council Tax Support can help you if you have to pay Council Tax on your home. These are both means tested benefits, which you may claim for if you are working full or part-time, self-employed, unemployed or retired. There are different rules if you are under or over 60 years old.

For further information please follow this link to our homepage

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When should I claim?

New claims will start on the date of occupation of your home, if you apply.

We may be able to pay your benefit from an earlier date, if there was good cause for the delay in making your claim. Benefit can be backdated for up to six months if you are not subject to pension age rules and three months if you are subject to pension age rules. The attached leaflet gives full details. Click here to download a leaflet and back dating request form

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How much benefit am I likely to get?

The amount of benefit you could get will depend on your income and households circumstances. Your benefit might increase if you receive Attendance Allowance or Disability Living Allowance or it could be reduced if you have other people living with you who are not dependent on you. 

click here to visit our on line benefits calculator


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Can I download a claim form?

Yes. Click here to download a claim form. Print off the form, fill it in and sign it. You will also need to supply proof of all the information you have stated. Post the form to us or bring it into our office so we can check it.

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Can I get all my rent paid?

Most residents who are private sector tenants will fall under the Local Housing Allowance scheme. Click here for more information

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How are Housing Benefit and Council Tax Support paid?

If you rent from the council any entitlement to Housing Benefit will be paid to your Rent Account every week, reducing how much you need to pay each week.

If you rent from a private landlord or Housing Association we will send you a cheque or a credit direct into your bank account every 4 weeks. In some circumstances you could have it sent directly to your landlord, please contact us for further information. Both you and your landlord need to agree to the payment in this way and sign a Direct Payment to Landlord form. These are available from the Benefits Section.

Any entitlement to Council Tax Support is paid directly to your Council Tax account. If there is anything left to pay you will be billed for this amount in instalments.
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What happens if my circumstances change?
IT IS IMPORTANT THAT YOU TELL US ABOUT CHANGES IN YOUR CIRCUMSTANCES IMMEDIATELY.
IF YOU ARE RECEIVING PENSION CREDIT YOU NEED TO TELL THE PENSION SERVICE ABOUT CHANGES TO YOUR INCOME.

- If the change means benefit has been overpaid you may be asked to repay this amount.

- If you take more than a month to tell us of a change that may increase your benefit we may not be able to alter your benefit from the date of the change.

Examples of changes in income and family circumstances that could affect your Housing Benefit and Council Tax Support:

- Change of address

- Changes in income or savings

- When someone moves in or out of your home

- When Income Support or Job Seeker's Allowance stops or start.

You should inform the council as soon as possible if your circumstances change and you think that it might affect the amount of Council Tax that you should pay. We want to know if:

- Someone moves into or out of your home (this may affect your eligibility to discount)

- A disabled person moves into or out of your home (this may affect eligibility to Disabled Person's Reduction) .

- The status of someone in your household changes e.g. a student finishes their studies and starts work, or a child becomes 18 years old.

- Your financial circumstances change (this may affect your eligibility to Benefit)

- Any other changes that you think might affect your Council Tax bill.


Click here for more information about reporting a change

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What if I disagree with the councils decision?

If you have received a decision about Housing Benefit or Council Tax Support, you may want to know what you can do if you think it is wrong.
If you think the decision is wrong you can ask us to explain it. If you still think it is wrong after we have explained it to you, we will look at our decision again.
For some decisions, you can appeal to an independent tribunal. They can change the decision if they agree that it is wrong.
There are time limits for asking for decision to be looked at again and for appealing.

Click here to download a leaflet that fully explains the appeals procedure


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What can I do if I suspect someone is claiming benefit they are not entitled to?

If someone is claiming benefit they are not entitled to we need to know. Click here to be routed to the Benefit Fraud page. Here it will be explained how to contact our Benefits Fraud line or you can report a suspected fraud online. Both methods are confidential so you will not be contacted again by us for further information.

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I have been paid too much benefit, what will happen next?

An overpayment is when benefit has been paid to someone but they are not entitled to it. In most circumstances the overpayment of benefit has to be paid back. Click here for a leaflet that explains more about overpayments and whether they need to be paid back or not. You might think you should not have to pay the overpayment back. The leaflet includes a form for you to give the reasons why we should not recover the overpayment from you.

Click here for a leaflet which tells you more about recovery

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Can I get Housing Benefit on two homes at the same time?

Housing Benefit is normally paid for the rent you pay on one home at a time. There are a few exceptions to this and you may be able to get extra help if:

- You have moved into other rented accommodation due to fear of violence

- You are a student or trainee, are one of a couple, and have to live in separate accommodation from your partner

- You have a large family and the council have housed you in two homes

- You have moved to a new home which you pay rent on and still have to pay rent on your old home

Click here to download a leaflet that includes a request form to pay benefit on two homes


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Am I entitled to Housing Benefit and Council Tax Support if I am away from my home?

Normally Housing Benefit and Council Tax Support can only be paid if you are actually living in the property you are claiming benefit for. But there are situations where we may still pay Housing and Council Tax Benefit if you are temporarily away from your home. Depending on the reason why you are away, we may be able to pay Housing Benefit and Council Tax Support for up to 13 weeks, or even 52 weeks in special cases. Click here to download a leaflet on temporary absence


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My Housing Benefit does not cover all my rent charge. Can I get any extra help?

We can make Discretionary Housing Payments if we decide someone needs extra help with housing costs. The payments are on top of any Housing and Council Tax Benefit that has been awarded. We only have a certain amount of money to spend on these payments. Click here to download information and an application form for Discretionary Housing Payments



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Write To
Chesterfield Borough Council
Town Hall
Rose Hill
Chesterfield
S40 1LP

Tel: 01246 345345
Text: 07960 910264
Fax: 01246 345252

In Person At:-
Customer Service Centre
85 New Square
Chesterfield
S401SN

Email:
enquiries@chesterfield.gov.uk

Click here to view the location of the Town Hall

 

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