Council Tax hardship fund
As part of the response to coronavirus (COVID-19), the government announced a national £500 million hardship fund to provide Council Tax relief for vulnerable households. We have now made the relevant adjustments to the Council Tax bills for all working age people that get Council Tax Support. If this applies to you, we will send you a new Council Tax bill showing the amount of the adjustment, and any amount left to pay
To apply for Housing Benefit you will need to complete our online form using the link below.
If you have any problems with completing the online form, please contact us on 01622 602557.
The online form will also work out if you're entitled to Council Tax Support.
You need to send evidence in with your claim. If you do not have all the evidence you can send the form in first and then send the rest of the evidence later.
If you're making a new claim for Jobseeker's Allowance, Income Support or Employment and Support Allowance through the Jobcentre, they will take all the details for your housing benefit and pass them on to us - you do not need to make a separate claim.
Tell us if you are moving
If you need to tell us that you are moving home, you can do so using our online form.
Universal Credit is now available in the Maidstone Borough Council area.
Help with rent costs
Housing Benefit rules have changed if you're working age (18 to 65) and would like help with your rent costs.
You can no longer claim housing benefit from the council unless you're:
- living Temporary Accommodation provided by us
- living in Supported Accommodation
In all other cases you will have to claim help with your rent costs as part of a Universal Credit claim with the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).
What is Housing Benefit
Housing Benefit helps you pay your rent if you are on a low income. The amount of housing benefit you get is worked out by looking at:
- how much money you have coming in;
- your circumstances and the amount of rent you have to pay
- the amount of savings you have. You need to have less than £16,000 savings to qualify. But you may have more savings than this and still get Housing Benefit if you or your partner get the guaranteed part of Pension Credit
Use the Benefit Calculator to see what help you can get.
Who is Housing Benefit for?
- people who pay rent, and have a low income, including those who work or are self-employed.
- tenants living in a council property, housing association property, privately rented property (the allowance for these tenants is known as Local Housing Allowance and the rates are set separately) and hostels.
- you own your own home and pay a mortgage
- have a higher income
- have more than £16,000 in savings (unless you claim guaranteed pension credit)
Evidence you need to provide:
- national Insurance numbers for you and your partner. Your partner needs to be someone you’re married to or living with as though you’re married.
- identity for you and your partner. For example a passport or driving licence.
- capital, savings and investments, including all bank and building society current and savings accounts.
- earnings of everyone living with you, including your partner and anyone else over 18.
- any other income.
- benefits, allowances or pensions.
- proof of rent liability (tenancy agreement).
Appeal a Decision
How is the overpayment paid back?
- if you are still getting Housing Benefit, we may reduce your payments to recover the overpayment
- if we are not paying your Housing Benefit, we may send you a bill and you should make arrangements to pay us
- if we paid your landlord your benefit then, in certain circumstances, we may ask the landlord to repay the overpayment
- we can ask your employer to set up an attachment to your earnings
- we can ask the Department for Works and Pensions to take money out of other benefits you might receive to collect the overpayment
- in cases where you have moved out of the area, we can take money from any housing benefit paid to you by another council
- you may be sent a bill. You will be able to pay online or by calling our automated payments line on 01622 602544 and choosing option 5
Direct earnings attachments
If you have an overpayment
Local Authorities have been given the power to recover overpaid Housing Benefit by taking deductions from your earnings without the need to apply for a court order. This is known as a direct earnings attachment (DEA), if you want to find out more about DEA's view our guides below.
If you're an employer
You have a legal obligation unless you are a new business. In such cases you are not obliged to operate a DEA although you may do so.
If you fail to comply with your duties, you could be subject, on conviction, to a fine of up to £1000.
Local Housing Allowance
What is Local Housing Allowance?
How do I find out my LHA rate?
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- each couple
- two children of the same sex under 16
- two children under 10 regardless of sex
- other person aged 16 or over
- an external overnight carer (evidence will need to be provided for this)
Extra Bedroom Discount
You will be affected if:
- you are of working age (which is from the age of 16 until you receive your state pension)
- you get any Housing Benefit, even if it’s a small amount
You will not be affected if:
- you or your partner have received your state pension
- you part-own the property under a shared ownership lease
- you have been placed in temporary accommodation by us under the homelessness legislation of the Housing Act 1996
What is classed as a ‘spare’ bedroom?
- an adult couple
- any other person aged 16 or over
- two children of the same sex under the age of 16
- two children under the age of ten regardless of their sex
- any other child
- a carer (who does not normally live with you) if you or your partner need overnight care
- a foster child
- you and your partner need to sleep apart because of a medical condition
- your children mainly live at another address, but you have a spare room for when they stay with you
What if you or your partner has a disability?
- you have a carer who lives elsewhere, and
- you or your partner receive the middle or high rate care as part of the of Disability Living Allowance and need overnight care
- the carer uses the extra bedroom to stay overnight on a regular basis to provide care for you or your partner