Housing Benefit

Housing Benefit

The Government is making changes to the Welfare Benefits system. If you are claiming benefits you are likely to be affected by these changes. If you would like to know more, please contact us on 01508 532000.


Please download the leaflet at the bottom of the page for more details please contact your Area Housing Officer on 01508 532000.

Do you need help with your rent and Council Tax? Are you entitled to benefits and how much could you get?

If you are on a low income, Housing and Council Tax Support can help you meet the cost of your rent and Council Tax. You can claim even if you are working and you do not have to be receiving any other benefits.

The amount of benefit you get awarded depends on the level of your capital and income, together with your individual circumstances.

Are you entitled to Housing Benefit?

If you think you may be entitled to housing benefit, you can now use this Benefits Calculator to calculate your possible entitlements.

For all enquiries relating to Housing Benefit, please contact South Norfolk Council’s Revenue Services 01508 533633

How to claim Housing and Council Tax Support

If you live outside South Norfolk, you will need to contact your local Council for information and to make a claim. If you need any help to do this, please speak to your Area Housing Officer.

Don’t delay – you will lose money if you do! If you telephone South Norfolk Council on Freephone 0808 178 7143 they will normally come and see you at home to help you with making your claim. Alternatively, they can send you a claim form or, if you call in to see them, they will help you to do this at their office in Long Stratton. Either way they will treat the date of your phone call as the date of your claim provided that they get the completed form and any supporting evidence back quickly – but in any event within a month.

You can also make a claim through your local Job Centre Plus Office if you are claiming other benefits through them or through the Pensions Service, if you are claiming Pension Credit.

When does the benefit start?

If you are already living in a property your benefit will normally start on the Monday after you make your claim.

If you move into a new address and are a new benefits customer, your claim can start on the date that you move in provided the claim form is received before you move in or within the same week (for benefit purposes a week begins on a Monday and ends on a Sunday).

If you are receiving Income Support, Employment and Support Allowance (income related), or Jobseekers Allowance (income based) and you move into a new address, your benefit will normally start on the date that you move in provided we receive a claim form within one month of that date.

What does the benefit pay for?

Housing Benefit sometimes does not cover all of your rent if your rent includes services. Housing Benefit cannot give you any help towards water charges, heating charges and some other charges such as those for support – you must pay these. Also, if you have any other adults living with you, such as grown-up children, your benefit may be reduced.

You could also get benefit for the full Council Tax bill (after discounts and any reduction for disability) less any amounts for other adults living with you.

If you do not get Income Support, Job Seeker’s Allowance (income-based), Employment and Support Allowance (income related), or Guarantee Pension Credit, the amount of benefit you can get depends on the amount of income you have coming in every week, as well as other things like:

  • the amount of rent or Council Tax you pay;
  • whether you are single;
  • whether you have children;
  • whether you are over 60, or;
  • whether you have a disability.

For a quick estimate of what you are entitled to, answer the questions on the Council’s website

What about when circumstances change?

Tell the Council straightaway if:

  • any of your children leaves school or leaves home
  • anyone moves in 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 a nursing home; goes into prison; or gets, changes or leaves a job
  • your rent changes
  • you move house
  • you or your partner are going to be away from home for more than a month
  • you receive any decision from the Home Office
  • anything changes that you have told the Council about

Tell the council about any changes over the phone freephone 0808 178 7143 and they will change your benefit.

It is an offence not to tell the council about any change of circumstance that affects your benefit. They may take court action against you. If the council pay you too much benefit, you will probably have to pay it back.

Can backdated benefit be claimed?

If you wish to claim backdated benefit and you or your partner are under 60 years old, you will have to show ‘good cause’ as to why you failed to claim earlier.

Examples of ‘Good cause’ may include having been incapacitated in some way, such as being in hospital or suffering from severe mental distress, or having been advised wrongly by someone offering advice in a professional capacity. Look at the Council’s website for more information.

Can I claim housing benefit if I am self employed?

You can claim housing benefit if you are self-employed. You must send the Council your trading accounts for the last financial year. If you have only recently set up the business and do not have a full year’s accounts, they will need to see some other evidence of your income.

You should not delay claiming until you have your trading accounts, as they can be sent in later.

Please contact Council’s website for further information or call on 01508 533633.

Saffron Accreditation