New housing benefit and council tax reduction claims
- Make a claim for housing benefit and/or council tax reduction.
- Work out the number of rooms the government says your household needs.
- Find out what stage your new claim is at.
- 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.
- Please note: This form is only for use when you have already made a claim for housing benefit through the Department for Work & Pensions/Pension Service or you already have housing benefit in payment.
These are payments we can make on top of your housing benefit or the housing cost element of Universal Credit.
We can only pay you extra towards your housing costs if your housing benefit does not meet the full cost of your rent (we call this a shortfall).
To apply, you must be getting housing benefit or the housing cost element of Universal Credit.
To qualify for housing benefit and/or council tax reduction
- We use LHA 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)
|Area||1 bed shared||1 bed self contained||2 bedroom||3 bedroom||4 bedroom|
|Bradford and South Dales||£58.26||£80.55||£97.81||£111.83||£123.58|
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.
- 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 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. 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)
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.
- You must have less than £16,000 in capital, savings, shares and property, unless you are aged 60 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
- Is available for people of pension age
- 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
- 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 and 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)
We usually pay your housing benefit:
- direct to your rent account if you are a council tenant
- direct to your bank account if you are not a council tenant
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.
- Housing benefit appeals
- 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.
- Council tax reduction appeals
- If you think your reduction is wrong you must write to us explaining why you think the reduction is wrong.
- We will respond to your notice setting out the steps you can take if you remain unhappy with our decision.
- You can only appeal if you think we have not followed the rules set out in the authority's reduction scheme, you cannot appeal against the authority's decision to adopt the scheme it has adopted.