On this page you can check if you are eligible for Housing Benefit or Council Tax Reduction and if eligible you can:

  • Apply for Housing Benefit if you rent your home and/or
  • Apply for Council Tax Reduction if you are the person who is responsible for paying the Council Tax for the home you live in

Important: Please read carefully before making your claim

From 1st November 2017, you may have to claim Universal Credit instead of Housing Benefit for help towards your rent

You can only make a claim for housing benefit if one of the following applies:

  • You live in supported/exempt accommodation.
  • You have 3 or more children who live with you.
  • You are a pensioner.
  • You live in temporary accommodation provided by the Local Authority

If you do not fall into any of the above categories you need to claim Universal Credit

Please note: Universal Credit does not include help towards Council Tax. If you need help with your council tax payments you can claim Council Tax Reduction.

Kirklees Neighbourhood Housing (KNH) Tenants advice on changes to benefits - Universal Credit

Eligibility for Housing Benefit and Council Tax Reduction

Council Tax Reduction

Council Tax Reduction is a local scheme designed to help households on low incomes to pay their council tax. It is not linked to National Insurance contributions.

  • If you are working age you must have less than £8,000 in capital, savings, shares and property. The capital limit is £16,000 if you are of pension age unless you are aged 60 or over and receive the 'guaranteed credit' of Pension Credit.
  • We calculate your reduction using your household's income and savings and compare this to what the government says your family needs to live on.
  • This figure is then reduced by 20% for working age claimants who are NOT in one of the protected groups below:
  • Lone parents with children under the age of 5
  • Those eligible for severe disability premium or enhanced disability premium
  • Those receiving War Pension or War Widows Pension
  • Pensioners

Housing Benefit

Housing Benefit is a national welfare benefit designed to help households on low incomes to pay their rent. It is not linked to National Insurance contributions.

You must:

  • rent your home. This includes boarders and people living in hotels or bed and breakfast accommodation
  • have less than £16,000 in capital, savings, shares and property, unless you are aged 60 or over and receive the 'guaranteed credit' of Pension Credit

You may not qualify if:

  • you live with a member of your immediate family and pay them rent or board
  • you are a student. Except for in certain circumstances as the government expects students to use their loan to pay rent
  • we suspect you have created an arrangement to take advantage of the scheme

We calculate Housing Benefit using:

  • your household's size and circumstances
  • your household's income, savings and capital
  • the amount of rent you pay
  • bedroom allowance (if appropriate)
  • Local housing allowance rates (if appropriate)

Apply for Housing Benefit and/or Council Tax Reduction

Fill in our simple online form.

Clock Completing this form takes around 30 mins to an hour to complete but you can save and return to it as many times as you need to.

Paperclip To complete this form you will need: details of your income, savings information, rent and household members details

You will need to provide evidence so that your claim can be processed, at the end of the form you will be shown what evidence you need. This usually includes:

  • wage slips
  • bank statements
  • details of any benefits and/or tax credits you may be in receipt of
  • your National Insurance Number
  • your tenancy agreement
  • self-employed accounts

You can use Forms for supporting information to help you provide evidence for your claim.

Apply online

After you’ve applied

We can normally pay you from the Monday following the date you submit your claim form.

If you start your claim and complete it within a month we can treat it as being received on the date you started it. If it takes you longer than a month to submit your form, your claim will be paid from the Monday following the date it is submitted.

Apply for Council Tax Reduction when Universal Credit or Housing Benefit is already in payment

If you have already made a claim for Universal Credit or Housing Benefit through the Department for Work and Pensions/Pension Service or you already have Universal Credit or Housing benefit in payment.

Fill in our simple online form.

Clock Completing this form takes around 10 minutes

You can use Forms for supporting information to help you provide evidence for your claim.

Apply online

After you’ve applied

You will need to provide evidence so that your claim can be processed, at the end of the form you will be shown what evidence you need. This usually includes proof of your ID, National Insurance Number, income, savings and your tenancy agreement.

Upload evidence

Upload your evidence afterwards if you don't have it when you complete your application form.

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Receiving Housing Benefit

We usually pay your Housing Benefit:

  • direct to your rent account if you are a council tenant
  • ddirect to your bank account every 2 weeks if you are not a council tenant. If you do not have a bank account we send you a cheque every two weeks.

In some circumstances, we can make payments direct to your landlord. Please contact us if you want to discuss who we should pay benefit to:

You are responsible for making up any shortfall between your Housing Benefit and your rent.

Appeals housing benefit

If you disagree with our decisions, you can appeal. Your appeal must be in writing and made within one calendar month from the date you received your benefit decision notice.

For more information: Housing Benefit appeals

Local housing allowance (LHA) rates
  • We use Local housing allowance rates in our Housing Benefit calculations for tenants renting from a private landlord.
  • They represent the maximum amount of benefit we can pay.
  • The LHA rate we use to calculate your benefit isn’t necessarily the same as the number of bedrooms in your home. You need to calculate how many bedrooms the government says your household needs to identify the LHA rate you’re entitled to.

There are two different local housing allowance areas in Kirklees:

  • Kirklees (covers 96% of our area)
  • Bradford and South Dales (covers parts of Birkenshaw and a small area around it)
Local Housing Allowance Rates from 1 April 2018 to 31 March 2019
Area 1 bed shared 1 bed self-contained 2 bedroom 3 bedroom 4 bedroom
Kirklees £55.00 £80.55 £96.91 £113.92 £149.59
Bradford and South Dales £58.26 £80.55 £97.81 £111.83 £123.58
Alternative maximum reduction
  • Is available for people of pension age only.
  • The scheme is designed to help you with your council tax bill if you have another adult living with you (but not your partner or someone who pays rent to you), who is on a low income.
  • Apply using the Housing Benefit and council tax reduction application form
Housing Benefit reduced for under occupation
  • Housing Benefit is reduced for tenants of working age, who rent a home from the council or another social landlord, which is larger than their household needs.
  • Benefit is reduced by 14% for one spare bedroom, and 25% for two or more spare bedrooms.
  • Some family members are expected to share bedrooms depending on age and circumstances.

Download our Under occupation guidelines

Receiving Council Tax Reduction
  • We will reduce your council tax bill by the level of reduction you are entitled to.
  • You are responsible for making up any shortfall between the level of reduction you receive and the actual amount of your bill.
  • You must tell us straight away if you have any changes in your circumstances which may affect your entitlement
  • Legislation* allows councils to impose a penalty of £70 where a person has negligently made an incorrect statement in their Council Tax Reduction application or where a person negligently fails to notify a change of circumstances when required to do so.
  • * The Council Tax Reduction Schemes (Detection of Fraud & Enforcement) (England) Regulations 2013. The Local Government Finance Act 1992 (as amended) (Sections 14A, 14B & 14C)
Council Tax appeals

If you think your reduction is wrong you must write to us explaining why you think the reduction is wrong.

For more information: Council Tax reductions appeals

Changes you must tell us about

Tell us straightaway if:

  • any of your children leave school or leave home
  • anyone moves into or out of your home (including lodgers and subtenants
  • your income or the income of anyone living with you, including benefits, changes
  • your capital, savings or investments change
  • you or anyone living with you becomes a student, goes on a Youth Training Scheme, goes into hospital or nursing home, goes into prison, or gets, changes or leaves a job
  • your rent changes
  • you move Tell us about a change in address
  • you or your partner are going to be away from home for more than a month
  • you receive any decision from the Home Office; or
  • anything you have told us about changes

Tell us about a change in circumstances