Anyone living in rented accommodation on a low or benefit based income can apply for Housing Benefit and the Council Tax Reduction Scheme.
In Bexley, Housing Benefit and Council Tax Reduction Scheme claims are assessed by the Benefits Office at Erith Town Hall.
Homeless and advice officers can offer general advice about eligibility for benefits. They are available at Bexley Civic Offices, Broadway, Bexleyheath.
Housing Benefit is help with rent payments for people who have a low income or receive benefits such as Income Support or Jobseekers Allowance. Some people may get up to 100% of their eligible rent paid.
The Council Tax Reduction Scheme is help with Council Tax payments as above. Under the 2014/2015 scheme, you may receive a maximum of 90% of your Council Tax liability in assistance if you are working age, or 100% of your liability if pensionable age.
You can claim these benefits if you pay rent and / or Council Tax, and have less than £16,000 in savings.
We cannot help you pay a mortgage, you will need to contact the Department of Work and Pensions if you require this help.
Save time - go online
Use our online service to make a claim for benefit, or to check your entitlement 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, or to tell us of a change of circumstances.
New benefit rules for working age claimants in local authority, or registered housing association property
From April 2013 the government is introducing new rules for working age claimants that set out the number of bedrooms housing benefit will pay for if you are renting from a local authority, a registered housing association, or other social landlord. This may mean a possible loss of benefit. More information is available on New rules for housing association tenants.
- The Welfare Benefits 'Cap'
As part of the introduction to Universal Credit, the government is introducing a welfare benefits cap, or a maximum limit, on the total amount of benefits people can get. More information is available on The Welfare Benefits Cap.
- For changes to the Council Tax Reduction Scheme see Council Tax Reduction Scheme
European Economic Area Migrants
From 1 March 2014 migrants from the European Economic Area (EEA) will be subject to a minimum earnings threshold when they claim income-based benefits.
The minimum earnings threshold has been set at £149 per week for the current year and at £153 for the 2014/15 tax year. This is the same level at which workers start to pay National Insurance.
Migrant workers must prove that they have been earning this amount in the UK for three consecutive months prior to claiming. They will need to provide appropriate evidence such as wage slips, contracts of employment or, if they have been self-employed, evidence of their earnings from their business records.
If they satisfy the terms of the minimum earnings threshold their work will be automatically treated as 'genuine and effective'. If the terms are not met then further consideration will be given to decide whether their work should still be considered 'genuine and effective'.
The minimum earnings threshold will apply initially to income-based Jobseeker's Allowance (JSA), Housing Benefit, Child Benefit and Child Tax Credit. It may be extended to other benefits later.
The minimum earnings threshold is the latest in a series of measures that the Government has introduced in the past few months for migrants who apply for income-based benefits.
The other measures include:
- Strengthening the Habitual Residence Test in order to improve evidence gathering and decision making
- Requiring migrant jobseekers to be resident in the UK for at least three months before they become eligible to claim income-based JSA. This also applies to UK nationals who return from living or working abroad
- Putting a six-month limit on the length of time EEA jobseekers can receive income-based JSA. Claimants will not continue to receive income-based JSA unless they can provide compelling evidence that they have a genuine prospect of work
More information on the new measures for EEA migrants is available at GOV.UK.
Bexley Benefit Service Standards - Putting Customers First
At the London Borough of Bexley we're committed to putting you first, providing a high quality service to everyone. More details are available as a PDF under related downloads.