Apply for housing benefit and council tax reduction online

Before you start

Please read the following information before you start filling in the form.

Find out more about housing benefit and council tax reduction

Please note: If you live in the EC1, N1, N1C, N6, N7, N19, W1, W2, WC1, WC2, NW1 1, NW1 2, NW1 3, NW1 4, NW1 5, NW1 6, NW8 0, NW8 6 or NW8 7 postcode areas, you can no longer make a claim for housing benefit unless you are:

•    of pension age
•    living in “specified accommodation”
•    living in temporary accommodation provided by a Council
•    a member of a family with more than two children

If you live in these postcode areas and none of these apply to you, you should claim universal credit to get help with housing costs. To check if your post code is within a universal credit area visit

You can make a claim for Universal Credit here

Council Tax Reduction:
Universal Credit does not replace Council Tax Reduction. If you are liable to pay Council Tax you should still use this form to apply for Council Tax Reduction. 

Signing your form

We may not require a signature for this online form:

We need a claim form and various documents to be able process your claim.

To make it easy for you, you have two options.

At the end of the form you can choose to:

Usually your claim will start the Monday following the date we receive the online claim form in the benefits office.

The online form asks the same questions as the paper form but takes you through just the pages that apply to you and has helpful notes about what information to fill in.

It is easier because you can save the form at any time and come back to it. When you have finished you can save or print a copy for your own records.

Proof of identity and National Insurance number

To help you fill out the form please check that you have the following to hand for you and your partner before you start (You will need the reference numbers and dates from some of these documents).

Please provide at least two original documents from the list below, copies are not acceptable:

Passport (current and valid) Prison discharge notification
EU identity card Recent bank or building society statement
Home Office letter Cheque book
UK Residence Permit Building society passbook
Birth certificate Council rent book
Adoption certificate Council tax bill
Marriage certificate Paid gas, electricity, telephone bill for last quarter
Divorce/annulment papers Store charge card, credit card
Full driving licence (not provisional) Trade Union membership card
Medical card Life assurance or insurance policy document
Letter from your doctor, solicitor,
social worker, probation officer, hostel manager
Certificate of employment in HM forces, Merchant Navy
Letters from DWP, HM Revenue and customs

National Insurance Numbers (NINO) - can be found on:

  • JSA signing on card
  • letters from the DWP, HM Revenue and Customs
  • payslips or pension advice slips
  • P45/P60
  • National Insurance card

Proof of who is living at the address

You will need to provide documentary evidence confirming residency for all the people you have declared living with you on this form. Valid evidence includes:

  • for you this could be a letter from your landlord confirming the date you moved in
  • for you, your partner or other adults who live with you, it could be a letter or bill from a bank, utility company or similar confirming the name and address of the person concerned
  • a letter from the Department for Work and Pensions or from HM Revenue and Customs
  • for dependant children it could be Child Benefit, a letter from a school or nursery or a medical card

Proof of private rent and tenancy

This may include your tenancy agreement, rent book or rent receipts. If you do not have any of these you will need to provide a letter from your landlord.

Paying benefit into your bank account

If you want your benefit paid into your bank account, please provide an original statement for this account, showing your name as the account holder, current address, sort code and account number.

If you have an internet bank account and want housing benefit to be paid into this account, please print a statement yourself for this account.

Please also provide two forms of proof that you are living at your address such as recently paid utility bills, council tax bill, medical card or letters from the Department for Work and Pensions or HM Revenue and Customs.

Proof of income

Earnings - this means your last five payslips if you are paid every week, your last three payslips if you are paid every two weeks, or your last two payslips if you are paid monthly and includes cash payments received in the form of tips. If you or your partner are self-employed you will need to complete a separate self-employed form. We will send this to you.

Other unearned income - such as pension advice slips from a former employer, a maintenance order or income received from an annuity. We will also need to see proof of any money you receive from boarders, lodgers or sub tenants.

Benefits, allowances, tax credits or pensions - such as a current award notice or letter from the Department for Work and Pensions or HM Revenue and Customs confirming how much you get.

Proof of money paid out – such as a student loan or grant assessment, or payments to a registered childminder.

Proof of savings, capital and investments

We need to see evidence for all savings, capital and investments that you or your partner have:

  • your latest full bank statement
  • building society or post office books
  • National Savings Certificates, ISAs, stocks, shares and unit trusts
  • if you have an online bank account, a printed statement will be acceptable

The evidence that you send must show details for at least the last two months.

Although we need to know the value of any Premium Bonds, cash or capital bonds that you may have you do not need to send proof of these.

What else?

You need to complete all of the sections that apply to you and your partner and other members of your household.

Make sure you have read the check list and have all the documents asked for. The quicker you can supply all the documents the quicker your claim will be paid.

Apply for housing benefit and council tax reduction online

Moira Gibb's direction letter

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