Housing Benefit and Council Tax Support - help to pay rent and Council Tax

If you are on a low income you could get help with your rent and help with your Council Tax.

The amount of help you get will depend on your income and your circumstances.

You could also get money off your Council Tax if someone that lives with you is on a low income.

Use our benefit calculator to find out how much help you could get.

Help with your rent

Most people that need help with their rent should claim Universal Credit (a few people can still claim Housing Benefit instead).

If you receive Housing Benefit or have housing costs included in your Universal Credit calculation, you might be able to claim extra help if you are suffering exceptional hardship (we call this Discretionary Housing Payments).

Universal Credit

Universal Credit is a single monthly payment from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) for people of working age. It covers living and housing costs, and replaces:

  • Housing Benefit*
  • Child Tax Credit
  • Income Support
  • income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)
  • income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
  • Working Tax Credit

Universal Credit does not provide help with your Council Tax, you still need to claim that from us.

Find out how to claim Universal Credit.

* If you are already getting Housing Benefit, your claim won’t be affected unless your circumstances change.

Housing Benefit

You should claim Housing Benefit instead of Universal Credit if:

  • you are a pensioner (over state pension age) – if you have a partner they must be over pension age too
  • you live in supported exempt accommodation
  • you are in temporary accommodation provided by the council

If you are not sure if this applies to you, please call us on 01246 345484 or 01246 345507.

Find out how to claim Housing Benefit.

Help with your Council Tax

If you are on a low income you should claim Council Tax Support from us, even if you are already claiming Universal Credit.

Find out how to claim Council Tax Support.

If you are not on a low income, but someone else that lives with you is, you might be able to claim ‘Second Adult Rebate’.

Discretionary Council Tax Scheme

If you are suffering exceptional hardship we may be able to further reduce the amount of Council Tax that you have to pay. This type of reduction is at our discretion, is only granted in very exceptional circumstances, and we will take into account the facts and merits of your particular case. 

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Last updated on 26 October 2022