Help with rent or Council Tax

Housing Benefit provides help with rent payments for people who have a low income; it cannot help with mortgage payments. 

If you are claiming Universal Credit, help with your housing costs will be part of your Universal Credit award. 

You can also claim Council Tax Reduction Scheme for help with Council Tax payments.

You will not be able to get Housing Benefit or Council Tax Reduction Scheme if:

  • you are not the owner or the tenant of the property
  • have more than £16,000 in capital (example, bank/building society accounts, shares, bonds, any property you own other than where you currently live)
  • your status in the UK excludes you from receiving public funds
  • are a full time student, unless:
    • you are a full time student who is also a lone parent, or
    • are disabled, or
    • under 19 following a further education course, or
    • have reached State Pension age

Make a benefit claim for Housing Benefit and/or Council Tax Reduction Scheme.

Report a change in circumstances if you already have a claim (example your income, capital or someone has moved out).

If the Benefits Office has contacted you asking for evidence/documents, or you need to provide evidence to support a new claim you have made, you can provide photographs of your documents or scanned documents at Benefits - evidence submission.

If you have been overpaid Housing Benefit, you can make a repayment. 

If you are having difficulty paying and want to discuss this, please contact the Benefits Office at Erith Town Hall, or email bexley.benefits@secure.capita.co.uk.

Check your current awards at your Housing Benefit account.

If you need help completing your claim form, self-service computers are available at Erith Town Hall, where staff can assist if required:

Erith Town Hall
Walnut Tree Road
Erith
Kent, DA8 1TL

Self-service facilities are also available at the Civic Offices Bexleyheath, the customer service staff will not be able to assist you on any specific queries regarding your claim, and you will need to contact the Benefits office at Erith for any detailed advice needed.

You can telephone 0345 302 2317 to ask questions about your entitlement or check the progress of your claim.

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 telephoning 0345 302 2317.

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) sets the rules for claiming benefits, which states how much the Council can pay you and the date from which your claim can be paid.

These rules apply to all Councils who administer claims for housing benefit.

If you disagree with how your claim has been worked out or the amount that we are paying, you have the right to appeal against the decision that we have made.

When we work out your claim, you will receive a letter telling you:

  • how much benefit you qualify for
  • what income and savings we have used to work out your claim
  • the weekly eligible rent and/or Council Tax we have used
  • any reduction to your awards because there are other adults living in your home, this does not include your partner
  • any reduction to your Housing Benefit because of the Benefit Cap or Social Sector Size Restriction (bedroom tax)

If any of the details are wrong or if you want to know more about how your claim was worked out, please write to us and ask for a written explanation of the assessment or any part of it that you would like explained.

If you disagree with the way we have worked out your claim, you should write to us and say that you would like to appeal and the reasons why you think we are wrong.

You must do this within one calendar month of the date of the letter telling you how much benefit you are entitled to. We will reply to you in writing with the outcome of our reconsideration of your claim, and the reasons for this.

If you still feel that the decision made about your benefit is wrong, you can ask for your claim to be heard by an independent appeals tribunal.

You must make your appeal in writing to the Benefits office, within one calendar month of the date of your award letter or your appeal may not be heard by the tribunal.

If your appeal or request for revision is late, write to us explaining the reasons for this and we may still be able to consider your appeal if there was good reason for the delay.

If you are appealing to the Tribunals Service (Housing Benefit) or Valuation Tribunal (Council Tax Reduction Scheme), they will decide whether a late appeal can be heard.