Welfare rights - financial advice

If you're on a low income, whether you're working or not, and need financial help to pay all or part of your rent, you may be able to get housing benefit. Find out more, including who is eligible and how to claim by visiting GOV.UK - housing benefit.

You can use our benefits calculator to find out how much housing benefit or council tax benefit you may be entitled to.

How is benefit paid?

If you rent from a housing association we will make payments either into your bank/building society account or we can make payments directly to your landlord.

If you are a private tenant we will normally only make payments directly into your bank/building society account. However, safeguards will be put in place to protect the vulnerable. Please see information on local housing allowance to find out more about this.

Your council tax benefit will be posted directly to your council tax account.

Benefits - capital and savings

To find out the main different types of savings and investments please visit GOV.UK - savings and investments.

For working age customers capital of less than £6,000 does not affect benefit, but for every £250 between £6,000 and £16,000 your income will be increased by £1 per week, which will reduce any benefit entitlement.

For pension aged claims capital of less than £10,000 does not affect your benefit, but for every £500 of capital between £10,000 and £16,000, your income will be increased by £1 per week, which will reduce any benefit entitlement.

If you have £16,000 or more in capital and savings, you will not qualify for housing or council tax benefit. The only exception to this is if you are in receipt of Guarantee Pension Credit.

When making a benefit claim, please send in original documents confirming your capital and savings and also for your partner. For bank or building society accounts we normally need to see the last two months' consecutive statements.

Benefits - Discretionary Housing Payments

Discretionary Housing Payments (DHPs) is a scheme to give financial help to customers who are getting housing and/or council tax benefit but who don’t get all of their rent or council tax paid and are struggling to pay the shortfall.

They are not payments of housing benefit but are additional payments made at the discretion of the council. They are based on individual circumstances and you will need to complete a DHP application form and provide as much information as possible to support your claim. When we receive your application, we will write to you again if we need more information from you.

The DHP fund is cash limited and so this means that there could be circumstances where we decide a payment should be made, but there is no money available to actually make any more payments.

Please see the council’s PDF file downloadDHP policy (PDF, 172kb) for full details about this scheme.

If you would like to discuss your situation then please contact us.

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