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Birmingham City Council

Benefit Enquiries

Overview
If you have an enquiry about your housing benefit, or your Council Tax Support we will be happy to help. We welcome enquiries from claimants, landlords whose tenants have authorised them to make an enquiry or someone authorised to act on the claimant’s behalf.
Essential Information
  • You may have been sent a benefit decision notice recently to tell you how much Housing Benefit you are entitled to.

    We know that this letter contains a lot of information and so to help you understand it we have produced a leaflet called "How to understand your benefit decision notice" which you will find at the bottom of this page.

    For help with your Council Tax Support letter please refer to our dedicated page

  • Universal Credit forms part of the Welfare Reform Act 2012. It is intended that this will simplify the benefits system by bringing everything together into a single streamlined payment.

    It aims to:

    • Simplify the system, making it easier for people to understand
    • easier and cheaper for staff to administer
    • improve work incentives
    • make the move from into and out of work smoother
    • reduce in-work poverty
    • cut back on fraud and error.

    The first applications to Universal Credit will be made in October 2013, and people already receiving benefit will be automatically transferred to Universal Credit between October 2013 and 2017. New claims to Housing Benefit are due to end in October 2014.

    The Money Advice Service have produced a video to help you get ready for Universal Credit.

    You can also visit Gov.UK for more information.

Frequently Asked Questions
    • The Benefits Enquiry Line is a confidential telephone service and is available for people with disabilities and their carers.

      The person taking your call will not have access to your personal records but will be able to give you general information about all benefits.

      Information can be produced in Braille or large print. Help is available with completing forms for disability benefits.

      Contact details:

      Benefits Enquiry Line

      Victoria House

      9th Floor

      Ormskirk Road

      Preston

      Lancashire

      PR1 2QP

      Tel: 0800 88 22 00

      Fax: 01772 23 89 53

      Email:Bel-Customer-Services@dwp.gsi.gov.uk

    • Please email us at ptmailbox@birmingham.gov.uk, giving details of the letter you require.

      Please note that this email address cannot accept email with attachments - if you need to provide further information, please copy and paste it into the body of your email.


    • If you are awaiting notification of an award of housing benefit following a new application you should receive this within 14 days. This is providing that you:

      • Answered all the questions on the claim form;
      • Signed the claim form in all places you were asked to; and
      • Have supplied all of the proofs required.

      If you have previously received a payment and payments have now stopped without an explanation, then please contact us at ptmailbox@birmingham.gov.uk so that we can investigate. .

    • The decision has been made on your tenant's claim, so as a landlord you are unable to appeal. However, you may ask for the claim to be looked at again.


      Please either write to us at:

      Benefit Service
      Birmingham City Council
      PO Box 8267
      Birmingham
      B4 7XF

      or email us at ptmailbox@birmingham.gov.uk, giving full details.

      Please note that this email address cannot accept email with attachments - if you need to provide further information, please copy and paste it into the body of your email.

    • If your tenant is receiving housing benefit payments direct and falls in arrears, please report it to us straight away. We will then usually send any further housing benefit payments directly to you or the agent.

      If we do not feel that you should receive these payments direct, we can refuse to make them or withhold benefits while an investigation takes place. To recover the arrears you would have to pursue the tenant. This may involve taking enforcement action against them.

      If you are considering taking enforcement action against your tenant, please contact us at ptmailbox@birmingham.gov.uk.

      Or write to:

      Benefit Service
      Birmingham City Council
      PO Box 8267
      Birmingham
      B4 7XF

    • Yes, as long as the claimant has signed part 16 of the housing benefit application form. Also, as the landlord you must be able to provide us with the following information when calling about your tenant’s claim:

      • Your name and / or company name.
      • Your address and / or company address.
      • Your tenant’s name and address.
      • Your landlord code, if you have one.

      You can find more detailed information in the Landlord Advice Pages.

    • Please call us on telephone number 0121 464 7000 and we will look at your financial circumstances. You should have your income and expenditure details to hand prior to contacting us.

      We will then decide if we can reduce your recovery payments and write to tell you our decision.

      If you’re experiencing financial difficulties please make an appointment at your nearest Neighbourhood Office for advice on dealing with debts. If you make an appointment for a debt interview, please complete the online income and expenditure form beforehand.

    • You should contact the Home Options service which helps people who are at risk of becoming homeless. This service brings together different organisations to help prevent homelessness and provide other housing options for households with different needs, including:

      Young people aged 16-25

      Families looking for privately rented accommodation

      Private tenants

      Council tenants

      Contacts:

      email:homelessservice@birmingham.gov.uk

      phone: 0121 303 7410

      fax: 0121 464 7610

      write to:

      Homeless Service

      PO Box 15782

      Birmingham, B2 2RG