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New claims

Information about how to make a new claim for housing benefit and council tax support. We can also give you an estimate of how much you may be entitled to. You can only claim housing benefit if you:

  • are of pension age
  • live in specified accommodation
  • are entitled to the severe disability premium.

If you do not fall into one of the above categories, you must claim help towards your rent through Universal Credit.

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, have claimed universal credit or are of working age, unless you meet one of the following criteria:

  • Live in supported accommodation, you must be receiving care, support or supervision from your landlord or care provider
  • Live in temporary accommodation
  • Be entitled to the severe disability premium:
  • Receive Disability Living Allowance (care) at the middle or higher rate

  • Personal Independence Payment (PIP) daily living component at the standard or enhanced rate
  • Attendance Allowance or Constant Attendance Allowance
  • Armed Forces Independence Payment (AFIP)
  • No one must receive carers allowance for you

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 reduction. 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)

The national council tax support scheme applies to all state pension credit age residents. View the full details of the scheme:

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

Will council tax support change in 2019/20?

Council tax support is a local discount scheme and councils are required to review their schemes each year.  

The amount of support/discount available to working age households for the 2019/20 financial year remains the same as 2018/19 with the maximum amount of support at 75% for working age customers.  

Following the introduction of ‘Full Service’ Universal Credit (UC) across all areas of the East Riding there has been a significant increase in the number of changes in circumstances for UC customers, which means that there are also a very high number of changes to their council tax support. 

As a result of this customers will receive revised council tax bills although there has been very little financial change.  The introduction of a de minimis scheme limiting eligible income changes to, for example, £2.00 or £3.00 per week (plus or minus) will significantly reduce the effect of these high numbers of changes.  The primary CTS regulations included a requirement for public consultation on any amendments to the CTS scheme.  

The following proposal was consulted on “Whether to build into the scheme a weekly lower limit amount where any household income changes below that limit would not be reflected in a revised council tax bill”. The consultation asked whether the lower limit amount should be £1, £2 or £3 per week.

A public consultation was carried out between 15 November 2018 and 31 January 2019 and the results can be seen below:

Council Tax Support consultation results (pdf 154kb, opens in new window)

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.
  • meet the working age criteria above

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) 

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, income, capital and any benefits you currently receive:

Calculate your entitlement online 

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.

To avoid any delays, please have the following details ready: 

  • national insurance number for you and your partner 
  • all income for you and your partner 
  • any state benefits (for example, jobseeker's allowance or 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 you can get in touch with us:

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 a 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-dependants 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.

If you do not have any payslips, or if they are handwritten, you will need to ask your employer to complete the below form:

Certificate of earned income (pdf 72kb opens in new window)

If you have childcare costs but do not have any receipts, please ask your child care provider to complete the below form:

Child care costs (pdf 44kb opens in new window)

If you do not have a tenancy agreement or have no proof of your rent, please ask your landlord to complete the below form:

Landlord form (pdf 45kb opens in new window)

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

Housing benefit - Private tenant

Housing benefit is usually paid directly 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. We can send you a text message when your claim is processed if you opt into this service.

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

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 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@eastriding.gov.uk

I have somebody else living with meover the age of 18, who is not my partner, 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. 

I am self-employed, what information will you need from me?

If you are a director of a company, for housing benefit purposes you are not classed as self-employed because you are receiving a salary, wages, drawings or dividends from the business. You will need to provide evidence of your earnings. If we require further information, we will contact you to discuss this. Please do not complete the self-employed form below.

You are self-employed if you work for yourself rather than an employer. You will not work under a contract and are not paid a salary or wage. 

You will try to earn money and make a profit by carrying out tasks or providing services directly. If you are self-employed, you may be working by yourself as a sole trader (a person who is the owner of a business) or in a partnership (joint owners of a business) with others.

If you have recently started a new business you will need to print out and complete the form below using estimated figures for the first 26 weeks of your business. 

If your business has been continuously trading for over one year then you will need to print out and complete the form below using the actual figures from the full previous tax year accompanied by a submitted tax return.

Self-employed form (pdf 209kb opens in new window)

You can find out more information about being self-employed, or starting a new business

Will I be affected by the changes to Pension Credit from May 2019?

With effect from 15 May 2019 , mixed age couples (e.g.  where one party of the couple is over Pension Credit qualifying age and the other is under that age) will no longer be able to decide whether they claim Housing Benefit (pension age), Pension Credit or Universal Credit.  

Both parties of a couple will have to reach the Pension Credit qualifying age before they can be entitled to Housing Benefit (pension age) and/or Pension Credit. 

If you are a mixed age couple and your new claim is due to start on or after 15 May 2019 please visit www.gov.uk or you may ask for help from the Citizens Advice Bureau (external website).