Housing Benefit claim decision

To avoid delay in assessing your claim you should ensure that you provide all the information required. We will contact you if any further information is needed.

Benefit Decision Notice

Once your benefit has been calculated, you will receive a Benefit Decision Notice regarding your benefit entitlement.

You must read the entire notice and check it carefully. If any of the information is wrong or missing, or you do not understand how your benefit has been calculated, you should inform us. You must do this within one month of the date of the letter otherwise we may not be able to consider your dispute.

It is therefore very important that you are familiar with the Benefit Decision Notice as it shows you everything we have used in calculating your claim.

What you should note:

Claim reference: At the top right of the page is your claim reference number. You will need this number if you contact us about your claim.

Benefit enquiries: At the top right of the page is the telephone number for contacting us.

Reason for calculation: This is the reason we have calculated your benefit.

Weekly benefit award: 'Award' means what we can pay you. This is the amount of benefit you will get after any deductions, which may be less than the maximum eligible rent or council tax liability. This may be because of the money you have coming in or capital we have taken into account, or have other people over 18 living in your home.

Overpayment recovery: If you have an overpayment of housing benefit, we may recover this from your ongoing entitlement. The amount shown is the weekly amount we are taking from your housing benefit entitlement.

Applicable amount: This is an allowance based on your personal and family circumstances. These allowances and premiums are set by central government. The higher your net income is above your Applicable Amount, the less benefit you will be entitled.

Non-dependant deduction: Non-dependants are any people over 18 who live with you. Under this heading we will list people over 18, their gross income and the deduction made because they live in your home. The government sets the amounts for the deduction. There are certain cases in which we will not make a deduction.

How your benefit is paid

For council tenants

Your housing benefit will be paid directly into your rent account reducing the amount you have to pay. You will be sent details showing the new reduced amount you need to pay towards your rent.

This will not take into account any arrangements you have made to pay off arrears.

For housing association tenants

We can pay benefit either to you or your landlord - in most cases the choice is yours. However, if you have rent arrears we may be required to pay the benefit direct to your landlord.

For private tenants

Under the Local Housing Allowance (LHA) rules, benefit is usually paid directly to the tenant, not to the landlord. Further information about how LHA is paid.