Go to navigation
Housing benefit and Council Tax benefit changes from April
The government is reducing the amount of housing benefit some
people can claim.
The National Housing Association leaflet,
What you need to know about changes to Housing Benefit (pdf
1,262KB), will help you find out who will be affected and
where you can go for help and advice.
The changes affect many people of working age, including those
who live in housing association and council owned housing.
From April 2013 council tax benefit will be replaced with a
local scheme. The new scheme means that every person of working
age will have to pay something (working age people who receive a
war pension are protected from this change).
What is Housing Benefit?
Housing Benefit is a means-tested benefit payable to people on a
low income who are liable to pay rent for accommodation they are
occupying as their home. It is paid whether or not they are
available for or in full-time work and is paid in addition to other
benefits or tax credits.
How is Housing Benefit worked out?
Housing Benefit adds together the same allowances and premiums
(not housing costs) as Income Support to come up with an applicable
- if your income (earnings, benefits, capital etc.) is less than
your applicable amount, your Housing Benefit entitlement will be
100 per cent of your eligible rent but;
- if your income is more than your applicable amount, your
Housing Benefit will be reduced by 65 per cent of the difference
between your applicable amount and income.
If tenants live in council accommodation or other social
housing, new rules apply from April
2013 regarding the calculation of housing benefit. The housing
benefit will be assessed taking into consideration the size of
accommodation the household requires.
Local Housing Allowance is used to
calculate new claims for Housing Benefit tenants renting
accommodation from a private landlord. It also affects tenants
already getting Housing Benefit who move into accommodation rented
from a private landlord.
For people who receive Housing and/or Council Tax Benefit and
appear to need further help they can apply for Discretionary
Who can claim Housing Benefit
To be eligible for Housing Benefit, you must:
- have less than £16,000 in savings and capital;
- have a low enough income (how low depends on your
- be treated as liable to pay rent on your normal home;
- normally occupy that accommodation as your home;
- not be excluded from claiming.
How to claim
To claim housing benefits, tenants will
need to complete an application form:
The following forms are also available online:
It is important to return the form as soon as possible as
benefit will usually be paid from the Monday after we receive your
You will also need to provide evidence of your income, savings and
Do not wait until you have all the proof asked for on the form;
this can be sent separately.
Tenants can also estimate
their entitlement to housing benefit online.
Further benefits advice can be found on the DWP
Benefits Advisor Service.
How benefit is paid
If you pay your rent to Medway Council or mhs housing, payments
will be made directly to your rent account.
Under the new Local Housing Allowance scheme if you pay rent to
a private landlord, payment will be made directly to yourself .
If payment is made to you this will be done every two weeks in
arrears. If payment is made to your landlord this will be done
every four weeks in arrears.
Understanding your benefit decision notice
When we make a decision about you claim, we will send you a
benefit decision notice. By law we have to include certain
information in this letter. We have produced a guide to help
explain decision notices following a new
or changed award (pdf 229KB) and if you have an overpayment (pdf126KB).
Housing Benefit leaflet
Download the Housing Benefit leaflet (pdf
Add this page to my Quick Links: Add page
Send this page to a friend: Send