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I am self-employed

I am self-employed

Frequently asked questions



You can claim Housing Benefit if you are the named person liable to pay the rent. If you are a joint tenant we can also help you with your share of the rent. In some circumstances you can be treated as the liable person, even though you are not the named person on the tenancy agreement. You can claim Council Tax support if you or your partner are the liable person for Council Tax.

Because you are self-employed you will probably not get payslips, so your income is harder to work out. The best proof of your income we can use are recent audited accounts for your business. If you do not have these then we need to see proof of your income and outgoing for the last financial year or the current year if you are a new business.

Self Employed Earnings Declaration (pdf 389 KB)

Because you income is difficult to assess our on line Housing Benefit and Council Tax support calculator should not be used to calculate your estimated entitlement. Please contact the Housing Benefit section for more advice. Click here for our contact details.

Self Employed Earnings Declaration (pdf 389 KB)

The benefit you get depends on three things:

  • the rent and/or Council Tax you pay
  • your personal circumstances (for example, your age, how many children you have, whether you are disabled, whether other people live with you)
  • your income and savings

If any of these things change it is likely that your benefit will change.

The rules say that every time there is a change, your benefit has to be worked out again. This means that you can get more or less benefit. Extra amounts will be paid to you. Overpayments may be recovered from you.

These are some of the changes the Benefits Section wants to know about:

  • if you start or stop getting Income Support or Jobseekers Allowance
  • if you start or stop getting Child or Working Tax Credit or any state benefit
  • if your income or savings change
  • if the number of people living with you or their income changes
  • if you move
  • if you have a child who leaves school
  • if you are a private tenant and your rent changes
  • anything else you might think changes your benefit

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 out 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.

What If Benefits Decision Is Wrong (pdf 61 KB)

We can make discretionary housing payments if we decide someone needs extra help with housing costs. The payments are on top of any Housing Benefit that has been awarded. We only have a certain amount of money to spend on these payments.

Discretionary Housing Payments (DHPs) (pdf 493 KB)

Last updated on 12 January 2016