How to Claim

Housing Benefit and Council Tax Support are available for people on a low income who may need help towards the cost of their rent or council tax.

Universal Credit (UC) has rolled out to all postcodes in the Rochford District.

If you are of working age and or a mixed age pensioner couple who would have made a new claim for Housing Benefit you now need to apply for the housing element of Universal Credit.

However, there are some exceptions where a new claim for Housing Benefit can still be made:

  1. Living in specified/supported accommodation.
  2. Living in temporary accommodation.
  3. Receiving a Severe Disability Premium (SDP) in any of the following legacy benefits when you make your claim for Housing Benefit:
    • Job Seekers Allowance (income based)
    • Employment and Support Allowance (income related)
    • Income Support
    • Housing Benefit

and

To qualify, you also need to be in receipt of one of the following disability benefits and live alone (or be classed as living alone) and no one must be in receipt of Carer’s Allowance or the UC Care Element for caring for them:

  • Disability Living Allowance (DLA) care component at the middle or higher rate
  • Personal Independence Payment (PIP) daily living component at the standard or enhanced rate
  • Attendance Allowance (AA) or Constant Attendance Allowance (CAA)
  • Armed Forces Independence Payment (AFIP)

If you are no longer entitled to an SDP then you will have to make a claim for Universal Credit.

If you meet one or more of the exceptions (A, B or C) above, you can continue to apply for Housing Benefit. You can click on the link to download a form. 

Mixed Age Pensioner Couples after 15 May 2019

Changes to the way that couples are treated for Housing Benefit and Pension Credit when one member is over the age for Pension Credit and the other member is under Pension Credit age (known as 'mixed age' couples) have been introduced from 15 May 2019.

For information on the age when you qualify for Pension Credit - see check state pension age link in the Related Content section.

From 15 May 2019 the age of the youngest member of a couple will determine whether you qualify for Housing Benefit and Pension Credit. In most cases this will mean you will need to claim Universal Credit instead.

You can still claim working age Housing Benefit if either of the exceptions (A, B or C) applies to you.

Universal Credit does not include help towards paying your Council Tax.  If you are on a low income and you wish to apply for help to reduce your Council Tax bill, you can download a form by clicking on the link.

If you are already receiving Housing Benefit certain changes in circumstances will trigger a claim for Universal Credit and your claim for Housing Benefit may end. For further information please visit the Gov.uk link in Related Content.

If you think you will qualify for Housing Benefit or Council Tax Support don’t delay, claim straight away. Normally any help you are entitled to will only start from the week after we receive your claim. You can claim by phoning us on 01702 318197 or 01702 318198, visiting our offices or downloading a claim form in Related Content.