Birmingham City Council

New Benefit Claims

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Overview

How do I claim?

YOU CAN NOW GET YOUR CLAIM GOING ON LINE - 24 HOURS A DAY 7 DAYS A WEEK AT YOUR CONVENIENCE RATHER THAN OURS! ADDITIONALLY, YOU CAN NOW REPORT A CHANGE OF CIRCUMSTANCES IN THE SAME WAY!

You can now claim or report a change of circumstances online, it is the fastest way to get your claim for Housing Benefit or Council Tax Support started.

Simply complete and submit the online form and provide the evidence requested. Please allow 28 days before contacting us regarding the progress of your claim.

Please see information below 'what you need to apply' for details of the required documentation.

Housing Benefit and Council Tax Support help pay towards rent and council tax. It’s for people who are on a low income whether they work, or receive state benefits, such as:

  • Income Support
  • Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • Pension Credit
  • Incapacity Benefit
  • Employment Support Allowance
  • Statutory Sick Pay
  • Maternity Pay, or
  • Retirement Pension.

If you’re eligible, the amount you can get depends on who lives with you, your total income, any savings you have and if you live in private rented accommodation the number of rooms your family require.

Housing Benefit Payments

If you are in receipt of Housing Benefit, from October 2014 you will no longer receive a separate confirmation with your benefit payments. This is due to Birmingham City Council's drive to achieve efficiencies and a greener environment.



Essential Information
  • We want everyone who qualifies for housing benefit and / or council tax support to apply for the help they’re entitled to. If you’re not sure whether you’re eligible, please use the benefit calculator found by clicking the benefit new claim button above.

    Please have the following details available when you contact us to make a claim for housing benefit and council tax support:

    • Your income details including your employers name and address
    • National Insurance numbers for you and your partner, if applicable
    • dates of birth of all household members
    • tenancy start date, if applicable
    • rent amounts and number of rooms, if applicable
    • the income details for other household members
    • your landlord details, if applicable
    • if you’re a private tenant, your bank account details.
  • Housing Benefit Eligibility

    To qualify, you must:


    • live in Birmingham
    • be liable for rent
    • be actually residing in the property
    • rent your home from a Private Landlord, Local Authority or Registered Social Landlord
    • not have savings of more than £16,000, unless you have reached the qualifying age for state pension credit

    You could also qualify if:


    • you live in a mobile home or houseboat
    • you are renting under a shared ownership scheme
    • you are a boarder whose rent includes meals

    How we will pay your housing benefit


    • If you are a Local Authority tenant:
      • we will pay your Housing Benefit directly into your rent account


    • If you are a tenant of a Registered Social Landlord:
      • you can choose how your Housing Benefit is paid

    • into your Bank or Building Society or Credit Union account
    • direct to your landlord
    • If you are a private tenant:
      • you can choose how your Housing Benefit is paid

    • into your Bank or Building Society or Credit Union account
    • we will consider making direct payments to your landlord if you are not able to manage your own financial affairs. Please contact us if you think this applies to you.


    There are two situations where we must pay your housing benefit directly to your landlord:


    • if you are in rent arrears of eight full weeks or more, or
    • If deductions for rent arrears are being made from either your Income Support, income-based Job Seeker’s Allowance, or income-related Employment and Support Allowance.


    Our response times

    We aim to assess all benefit claims within 14 working days, if not sooner. We can do this faster if you provide original proofs when you make your claim to us.

    The time it takes us to process your claim depends on how straightforward it is. If we need to ask you for more information or proofs to support your claim, it could take longer than the times stated above.


    How to get in touch

    If you want to make a new claim, you can do this by:

    Simply completing and submit the online form and providing the evidence as requested. Please allow 28 days before contacting us regarding the progress of your claim.

    You can maken an appointment at a Customer Service Centre/Neighbourhood Office by telephoning 0121 216 3030.

    Before you contact us, please read the verification guidance. This will tell you what information we will need you to provide when you make your claim.

  • Council Tax Support Eligibility

    Please visit our Council Tax Support page for details

    How we will pay your Council Tax Support

    If you are entitled to Council Tax Support it will be taken off the amount of Council Tax that you have to pay. An amended bill will be sent to you detailing how much you have been awarded in Council Tax Support and how much you have left to pay.

    Second adult rebate

    If you do not qualify for Council Tax Support, you may be entitled to second adult rebate.

    You may be able to claim a second adult rebate if:


    • You are a single person and
    • You are living with another adult on a low income and
    • They are not your partner and
    • They are not liable to pay Council Tax.

    There may be more than one ‘second adult’ in your household.

    We calculate second adult rebate on the gross income of the second adult(s). We don’t take the liable person’s income or capital into account.

    The person liable to pay the Council Tax should make the claim for second adult rebate and not the ‘second adult’. They will need to provide proof of their identity and we will need proof of all gross income for the second adult(s).


    Our response times

    We aim to assess all claims within one calendar month of receiving them. We can do this faster – usually within 14 working days, if you can send original proofs when you hand in, electronically submit or post your claim to us.

    The time it takes us to process your claim depends on how straightforward it is. If we need to ask you for more information or proofs to support your claim, it could take longer than the times stated above.

    How to get in touch

    If you want to make a new claim, you can do this by simply completing and submitting the online form and providing the evidence as requested. Please allow 28 days before contacting us regarding the progress of your claim.

    Before you contact us, please read the verification guidance. This will tell you what information we will need you to provide when you make your claim.

  • Before we can pay you Housing Benefit or Council Tax Support, we will need to see certain documents to support your claim. Please go to the verification guidance pages for more information.

  • If you haven’t made your claim for housing benefit or council tax support on time, you can ask us to consider backdating it to when you first needed it. You can also ask us to do this if your circumstances have changed but you were unable to tell us straight away.

    We will always give consideration to the effect that missing housing benefit or council tax support would have in terms of creating hardship. Please go to the Backdating Your Benefit pages for more information.

  • How much will I get?

    The Government sets maximum amounts for different sized accommodation and the amount you can be awarded will initially be assessed on the number of people you have living in your household. This can be further reduced by any money above a certain level that you have coming into the house or by having other adults (except your partner) living in your home.

    The rates for the different sizes of accommodation are set in April of each year and remain in place until the following year. Therefore the rates in place as at April 2013 will not be changed until April 2014.



    LHA does not apply to people;

    • Who rent their home from the council;
    • Who rent their home from a registered social landlord or housing association;
    • Whose tenancy started before 1989 or who have a registered fair rent;
    • Who live in supported accommodation; or
    • Who live in hostels, caravans and houseboats.

    It may also not apply if your rent includes an amount for meals.


    Links and attachments

    There are a number of leaflets that explain the Local Housing Allowance in further detail. These are available to download at the bottom of this page.


Frequently Asked Questions