Assessment and Payment of Benefit

How your claim is assessed
Once we have had all the information we need, we will try to deal with your claim within fourteen days. Claims cannot be paid until we are satisfied with the level of information provided. We will send you a Housing Benefit notification letter and/or a revised Council Tax bill showing how much benefit you are entitled to receive and how your benefit has been calculated. When your benefit changes or stops we will send you further notification letters and/or Council Tax bills. We may have paid too much benefit to you or your landlord and any overpaid benefit will usually be recoverable. For more information please go to our page 'overpayments of benefits'.

Payments of benefits

  • Council Tax Support will be included  on  your Council Tax account. The amount awarded will be deducted from any outstanding balance you have. A revised bill will be issued showing how much (if any) Council Tax has been paid and what (if any) is left to pay.
  • Housing Benefit - If you are a tenant of a registered housing provider (in social housing) you can chose whether to have Housing Benefit paid direct from the Council to your rent account (in the same way as Council Tax) or paid to your own bank account. Your landlord will inform you of the balance of your account and confirm any credits received. Payments to tenants are made 2 weekly in arrears. Payments to landlords are made 4 weekly in arrears.
  • Housing Benefit - If you are a tenant of a private landlord payment will be made by BACS to a bank account held by you. Payments are made 2-weekly in arrears.

You are responsible for making your own payments of rent to your landlord. We will only make benefit payments direct to your bank account. If you do not have a bank account you will need to open one. Basic bank accounts are available from most banks and allow customers to receive cash, pay bills and use a cash card to make withdrawals. 

We can make payments direct to your landlord if you are unable to manage your affairs, please telephone us on 01264 368000 for further advice. We will also pay Housing Benefit direct to your landlord if you are 8 weeks or more in arrears with your rent payments.

What do I have to pay?
You will need to pay the difference between the weekly benefit awarded and your actual rent/council tax. Remember your actual rent may have been restricted for benefit purposes. The notification will tell you if either your rent or council tax has been restricted.
If there is a shortfall between your housing benefit and your rent, please contact your landlord directly in order to make an arrangement to pay the difference.