Housing and Council Tax Benefits
Housing and Council Tax Benefits are national, means-tested welfare benefits. The purpose of the Housing Benefit scheme is to help people who have a low-income pay their rent. The Council Tax Benefit scheme provides help with Council Tax charges. From April 2008, the Government introduced the Local Housing Allowance which will affect most private tenants.
Starting from 1 April 2011, over the next few years the DWP are making major changes to Local Housing Allowance arrangements, including how LHA rates are worked out; if you are already claiming Housing Benefit, these changes are likely to affect the amount of money you get.
Making a claim
- Who can claim?
- How to claim
- How much could you claim? - Online Estimate
- What period will your claim run for?
- Second Adult Rebate
Calculating and Paying Housing and Council Tax benefit
- How your benefit entitlement is worked out
- How your benefit will be paid
- What you do if you disagree with our decision
- What changes of circumstances you must report
- Housing Benefit Overpayments
- Check your Benefit Account
Important news about changes to Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit from April 2013.
The Government is making changes to Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit from 1 April 2013 which may affect how much Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit you receive if you are working age. To find out what is changing please read our new leaflet A Guide to Government Changes to Housing Benefits and Council Tax benefit from 2013PDF, 638.69 KB
* The DWP advised us on 19 December that they will now be 'phasing' in the Benefit Cap from April 2013, with just 4 authorities being affected initially - Bromley, Croydon, Enfield and Haringey. Everyone else will now be subject to a national roll-out across the summer with all households identified and capped by end of September 2013. Please check our website for further announcements.
From 1 April 2013 Council Tax Benefit will be replaced by a local Council Tax Support scheme. Details of the scheme can be found in the document: Council Tax Support Local Scheme DBC PDF, 502.86 KB . Please note that the amounts quoted for personal allowances, premiums, non-dependant deductions etc may be subject to change when DCLG provide final figures.
Dartford Borough Council's Helpful Advice Leaflets
- Guide to Government Changes to Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit from 2013PDF, 638.69 KB
- A guide for working age people PDF, 968.37 KB
- A guide for pensioners PDF, 1020.03 KB
- Can my claim be backdated? PDF, 1030.75 KB
- Changes you need to tell us about PDF, 930.53 KB
- A guide for self-employed people PDF, 877.7 KB
- Extra help towards your rent and Council tax (Discretionary Housing Payments) PDF, 880.72 KB
- What do I do if I disagree with your decision? PDF, 885.96 KB
- What happens when I have paid too much? PDF, 868.82 KB
- A guide for landlords PDF, 961.38 KB
- Attending an Interview under Caution PDF, 877.61 KB
- Obtaining Information PDF, 821.84 KB
- Housing Benefit changes for single people aged 25 to 34 who rent from a private landlord PDF, 1073.42 KB
The method by which payment of benefit is made depends on the type of claim you have. Housing Benefit for Council tenants will be paid direct to their rent accounts.
Private tenants are paid by BACS to themselves or direct to their landlord/housing association. Council Tax Benefit is credited directly to your Council Tax account.
Most tenants who rent their accommodation from private landlords (except housing association tenants and certain other tenants) will have their rent referred to the Rent Service, before their Housing Benefit is calculated.
The Rent Service looks at the accommodation that is being rented and makes an independent valuation of the rent. Housing Benefit is awarded based on the Rent Service's assessment of the rent.