We are currently consulting on our Council Tax Reduction scheme for 2018/19. For more information, go to: www.newcastle.gov.uk/CouncilTaxReductionScheme2018/19

Claiming benefits can be complicated and confusing, so we are working very hard to make things as straightforward as possible for you.

Here are some questions we are often asked by people thinking about claiming.

What is Housing Benefit?

Housing Benefit proves help towards rent for people on low incomes.

People who own their home or who have a mortgage are only able to claim Council Tax Reduction. For more information on help with mortgage payments visit Directgov.

You cannot claim Housing Benefit if you rent from a close relative who lives with you.

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How do I claim?

From 15 March 2017 you may have to claim Universal Credit instead of Housing Benefit for help towards your rent.

If you are aged 62 or older you can check if you have reached the qualifying age for Pension Credit by visiting https://www.gov.uk/pension-credit/eligibility before you make your claim.

  • If you have reached the qualifying age to claim Pension Credit you need to use our online application.
  • If you live in supported or exempt accommodation you need to use our online application
  • If your post code starts with NE6 4 or NE13 6 you can use our online application

If you do not fall in 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. 

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What date will my claim be paid from?

What date will my claim be paid from?

Housing Benefit is usually paid from the Monday after we receive your application.

In some circumstances, your claim can be paid from an earlier date, up to a maximum of 3 months for pensioners and in all other cases we can backdate your claim for a maximum of 1 month. This is often referred to as "backdating."

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What information will I need to prove?

Sometimes we need you to prove us with documents to confirm what you told us when you made your claim.

The kind of things we might need to see include:

  • Recent payslips, if you're working
  • Your tenancy agreement, to confirm the rent you pay
  • Recent bank statements
  • Evidence of your National Insurance number

If we ask you to prove any of this information, we will explain clearly what we need. Remember that we won't be able to make a decision or pay you any money until we have all of the information we have asked for.

The quickest way to get the documents to us is to take them to one of our Customer Service Centres.

Please do not send valuable items through the post.

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How will my benefit be paid?

If you rent your home from Your Homes Newcastle we will pay your Housing Benefit direct to your rent account.

If you rent your home from a Housing Association you can choose to have your Housing Benefit paid direct to them every four weeks, in arrears. Alternatively, you can choose to have your Housing Benefit paid direct into your bank account every fortnight, in arrears. You are then responsible for ensuring that this money is used towards your rent.

If you rent your home from a private landlord or letting agency we will pay your Housing Benefit direct into your bank account every fortnight, in arrears. You are then responsible for ensuring that this money is used towards your rent.

If you do not keep up with your rent payments your landlord can apply for your Housing Benefit to be paid direct to them.

Page last updated: 
16 May 2017
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