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What is housing benefit and council tax support?

Housing benefit (HB)

Housing benefit is a benefit for people on low income, it helps you to pay for part or all of your rent.

You cannot apply for housing benefit if you own your own home, or have claimed Universal Credit.

Private tenants

If you rent your home from a private landlord your housing benefit will be calculated on the local housing allowance (LHA) rate appropriate to your household size and the area of the East Riding you live in.

The LHA rate will be the maximum amount of housing benefit you will be eligible to receive based on the number of bedrooms your household needs. This is not the amount of benefit you may receive.

The LHA is set annually each April by the Valuation Office agency. To check which rate your housing benefit would be assessed on please click on the link below;

Check your LHA rate (external website)

Local authority or housing association tenants

If you rent your home from the council or a housing association your housing benefit will be calculated on the rent for your property less any ineligible services

Working age customers

Your eligible rent figure may be restricted if you have a spare bedroom(s) based on the number of bedrooms required by your household.

The following size criteria apply, a bedroom will be allocated to:

  • a single adult or couple;
  • 2 children under the age of 10 of the same or opposite sex;
  • 2 children under the age of 16 of the same sex;
  • each person aged 16 or over;
  • any other child;
  • a bedroom for a non-resident carer where overnight care has been determined.

There are additional rules for:

  • disabled children;
  • foster carers;
  • non-dependents who are in the armed forces.

What is the reduction?

  • A 14% reduction for those who are deemed to be under occupying by one room;
  • A 25% reduction for those who are deemed to be under occupying by two or more rooms.

Council tax support (CTS)

Council tax support is a means tested council tax discount. How much support you will receive will depend on your income and circumstances.

  • Working age residents will receive a maximum of 75% support towards their council tax bill;
  • Residents who are of state pension credit age are eligible to receive a maximum of 100% support towards their council tax bill.

Our local council tax support scheme applies to all working age residents. Click on the link below to view full details of the local scheme;

Council tax support scheme regulations (pdf 1mb opens in new window)

Easy read council tax support scheme regulations (pdf 1mb, opens in new window)

The national council tax support scheme applies to all state pension credit age residents. Click on the link below to view the full details of the scheme;

National council tax support scheme (pension age) (pdf 362kb opens in new window)

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Will council tax support change in 2017/18?

East Riding of Yorkshire Council is in the process of reviewing its local Council Tax Support scheme for the 2017/18 financial year and is required to carry out a public consultation on the changes we are considering.

It is proposed that the maximum rate of Council Tax Support available to working age households of 75% of the bill remains the same in East Riding of Yorkshire for the 2017/18 financial year.

The Council is proposing to amend its methodology for assessing claims to ensure consistency with Government changes to Housing Benefit assessments.  The Government has announced its intention to limit the Child Tax Credit amounts paid per child to a maximum of two children for children born after April 2017.  The Government is making equivalent changes to calculations of Housing Benefit and Universal Credit claims from April 2017 to ensure consistency across benefit entitlement.  In order to continue this consistency, the Council proposes to do the same for its Council Tax Support scheme for 2017/18.

A consultation on the Council Tax Support scheme for 2017/18 is running from 1 August 2016 to 16 October 2016 and we would like to hear residents’ views before the final decision is made by members at a full Council meeting on 11 January 2017.

To have your say and complete the consultation, please follow the link below:

Take part in the Council Tax Support consultation (Opens in new window)

The outcome of the consultation will be published on the website later in the

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Am I eligible to claim?

You may get housing benefit if:

  • you pay rent
  • you're on a low income or claiming benefits
  • you have savings less than £16,000.

You may get council tax support if you are liable to pay council tax.

You will not be eligible if:

  • you have over £16,000  in savings, unless you receive the guarantee credit element of pension credit;
  • you live in the home of a close relative;
  • you are a full time student (unless you are disabled or have children;
  • you are an asylum seeker or sponsored to be in the UK;
  • you are residing in the UK as an European Economic Area jobseeker.

Can I claim if I am a European Economic Area national and working?

There are minimum earnings thresholds for nationals of European Economic Area countries;

Minimum earnings thresholds (external website)

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How much will I get?

Our online calculator provides you with an estimate of the amount of housing benefit and council tax support you may be entitled to.

To receive an accurate estimate of your entitlement please click on the link below, you will need details of your earnings, capital and any benefits you currently receive:

Calculate your entitlement online

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How do I apply for housing benefit and council tax support?

There are a number of different ways in which you can make an application:

The quickest way to apply for housing benefit and council tax support is online, if you have the following details to hand when you do the online claim it will avoid any delays: 

  • national insurance number for you and your partner
  • all income for you and your partner, example earnings
  • any state benefits, for example, jobseekers allowance, pension credit
  • all bank accounts you and your partner have even if they are overdrawn
  • the rent you are charged
  • all other household members full names, date of birth and any income they receive.

Apply for housing benefit and council tax support 

Customer service centre 

Visit one of our customer service centres where a member of the customer service team will help you to make a claim. To make an appointment:

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What proof do you need to see to support my application?

You will be required to provide the following documentation to support your application:

Identity for you and your partner

  • Birth certificate;
  • Marriage certificate;
  • Current passport;
  • Medical card;
  • Driving license in photo card format;
  • UK residence permit;
  • EEC identity card;
  • Letter from government department.

National Insurance number for you and your partner

  • National Insurance number card;
  • P60 or Payslips
  • Letter from the Department for Works and Pensions (DWP).

The benefits team will contact you if they require any further documentation.

Other evidence you may be required to submit

  • Capital, savings and investments for you and your partner;
  • Earnings for you, your partner and any other non dependents living with you;
  • Self employed earnings for you and your partner;
  • Other income for you, your partner and other adults living with you;
  • Benefits, allowances or pensions for you, your partner and any other adults living with you;
  • Your tenancy agreement and proof of rent paid;
  • Child care costs;
  • Any other eligible expenses.

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If I qualify, when and how will I receive my benefit?

Housing benefit - Private tenant

Housing benefit is usually paid direct to the claimant 4 weekly in arrears by cheque or BACS. Housing association tenants can request that payments are made direct to their landlord.

Housing benefit - Council tenant

Housing benefit will be credited to your rent account.

Council tax support

Council tax support is deducted directly from your council tax liability. You will be issued with a revised council tax bill advising you of any amount outstanding and details of how to pay.

More information about how to pay your council tax is available on the council tax payments page.

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Can my claim be backdated?

You can request that your claim is backdated, however, there is no automatic right to a backdate and each request is considered on its own merits and you must show good cause throughout the period of your request.

If you are of working age, the maximum period your claim can be backdated is one month if your request is received on or after 1 April 2016.

If you are of state pension age, the maximum period is three months.

If you want us to consider backdating your claim, you must submit a written request to us, outlining the following details:

  • The date you would like your claim to start from;
  • Detailed reasoning as to why you did not submit your claim from this date.

Please send your request to:

Benefit Assessments
County Hall
East Riding of Yorkshire
HU17 9BA

Or email:

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I have somebody else living with me over the age of 18, will this effect how much I will get?

The amount of housing benefit and council tax support you receive may be reduced if you have a non-dependant living with you.

Non-dependants are people who normally share you accommodation but are NOT dependant on your financial support. Non-dependants are people such as grown-up children and elderly relatives.

The following people are NOT classed as being non-dependants:

  • carers employed by a charity that charges for the service;
  • joint tenants;
  • sub-tenants;
  • boarders;
  • tenants of owner properties;
  • landlords and their partners.

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