Housing benefit and council tax reduction - claims and payments - Starting a claim

Please note: If you are receiving Income Support, Job Seeker's Allowance (Income Based) or Employment & Support Allowance (Income Related) please go straight to Step 2.

Step 1 - Check your entitlement

Use our online benefit calculator to find out if you are entitled. 

Have the following ready before starting:

  • your Local Housing Allowance rate if renting privately

  • your/your partner’s income & benefits

  • your/your partner’s capital

  • your actual rent, including a breakdown of any service charges included

  • any income and benefits received by other people in your household

  • any child care costs, if applicable

  • your annual council tax

This calculation depends on you using accurate information and is an estimate.

Step 2 - Starting a claim

If the calculator shows you are entitled, you will need to start your housing benefit or council tax reduction (CTR) claim by calling our Customer Services Team on 0208 770 5000 (using your telephone keys to select options 1, then 2). 

A Customer Services Officer will need to ask you some questions to ensure you can claim Housing Benefit. They will advise if you need to claim Universal Credit instead.

They will take your details (name, address, date of birth & national insurance number) and pass them onto our new claims team, who will then call you within 2 working days.

If you are acting on behalf of someone else, you can download the Housing Benefit and Council Tax Reduction form to help them complete it and then send it.