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.
Homelessness and advice officers can offer general advice about eligibility for benefits and housing. They are available at Bexley Civic Offices, 2 Watling Street, 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 2015/2016 scheme, you may receive a maximum of 85% 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 assistance.
Save time - go online
Use our online service to make a claim for benefit, or to tell us of a change of circumstances, or to check your entitlement or potential entitlement 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
If you do not have internet access at home, or require assistance with completing the form, you can visit Erith Town Hall, where self service computers are available, and staff can assist you if required:
Erith Town Hall, Walnut Tree Road, Erith, Kent, DA8 1TL
You can also make an appointment with a Customer Service Advisor at Erith Town Hall to discuss any more involved issues regarding your Housing Benefit or Council Tax Reduction Scheme claim by calling 0345 302 2317.
Computers are available at Bexley's 10 libraries across the borough, which can be booked and used for free. The libraries all have internet access, WiFi and printing facilities. Contact your local library for more information.
Self service facilities are also available at the Civic Offices Bexleyheath. Please note that whilst you may use the self serve facilities here, customer service staff will not be able to advise on any specific queries regarding your claim, and you should contact the Benefits Office at Erith for any detailed advice needed.
New benefit rules for working age claimants
From April 2013 the government introduced 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. More information is available on New rules for housing association tenants.
As part of the introduction to Universal Credit, the government introduced 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 information on Universal Credit (which began to roll out in Bexley on 8 February 2016), see Universal Credit.
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) are subject to a minimum earnings threshold when they claim Housing Benefit/Council Tax Reduction Scheme (and other income-based benefits). 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'.
More information on the new measures for EEA migrants is available at GOV.UK.
Working Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit are for people who are in low paid work, and/or have children. As part of working tax credit you may also qualify for help towards the costs of childcare.
For more information and to claim ring the Tax Credit Helpline on either 0845 300 3900 (textphone 0345 300 3909). Alternatively, you can claim online (and find out how much you could get) by visiting HMRC Tax Credits.
If you are awarded tax credits it is important that you notify the Benefits Office as this could affect your entitlement to Housing Benefit or the Council Tax Reduction Scheme.
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.