Claim Housing Benefit and/or Council Tax Support

New claims for Housing Benefit will only be accepted for customers who are:

  • Pension credit age
  • Living in Supported exempt accommodation
  • Living in temporary homeless accommodation

Customers who do not meet any of the above criteria will need to make a claim for Universal Credit to receive help for their rent.

Council Tax Support is a local scheme and provides help with your council tax bill by reducing the amount you have to pay, depending on your income.

Help to pay your Council tax is not included in Universal Credit and continues to be provided by Coventry City Council. You must make a separate claim to the Council for this.

Read more information about Universal Credit [http://www.coventry.gov.uk/universalcredit] or apply for Universal Credit now [http://www.gov.uk/apply-universal-credit].

How much would I get? 

Housing Benefit and Council Tax Support are means-tested benefits. The amount you receive can depend on:

  • your income;
  • your savings;
  • the size of the property, the amount of your rent; and
  • who else lives with you

You can apply for either Housing Benefit, Council Tax support or both by completing the online claim form . Once you have completed the form you will be given an evidence checklist that lists documents we need to assess your claim.

You can upload the evidence required when you submit your application. Should you need to send further information you can email the evidence to benefits@coventry.gov.uk [mailto:benefits@coventry.gov.uk] quoting your reference number in the subject heading, or you can make an appointment so you can in your documents.

Benefits calculator

If you are unsure how much benefit you will receive, or how much money you will have left once you have paid your bills you can use our handy benefits calculator [https://betteroffcalculator.co.uk/api/remoteAuth/6188dae41629cd61480033f716ec4acd76b9da41b8748bf5c62e58b8a07096b5] to:

  • See how much benefit you might be entitled to
  • Help to identify your priority bills and manage your money
  • See how changes in your circumstances would affect your income

Make a benefits claim online

Please be advised it may take up to 4 weeks to process your application form, please avoid contacting the team for an update before this time has passed.

Start a new calculation/claim

or

return to a calculation/claim you have saved

View our privacy notice [https://www.coventry.gov.uk/benefitsprivacynotice] explaining how we will use your information and handle your data.

Support

If you have difficulty completing an online claim, you can call the Benefits Service for assistance.

Benefits service

Address: Broadgate House
Customer Service Centre
Broadgate
Coventry
CV1 1FS

Telephone: 024 7683 1800 [tel:02476831800]

Housing Benefit

You can make a claim for Housing Benefit if you:

  • pay rent to a private landlord or a Housing Association;
  • are a boarder whose rent includes meals;
  • live in a hostel;
  • live in a mobile home or a houseboat; or
  • are renting under a shared ownership arrangement.

and

  • you have reached State Pension Age
  • you are in supported, sheltered or temporary housing

If you do not meet either of the above two criteria, any new claim for help with rent must be made through Universal Credit.

Please note all benefit claims may take up to 4 weeks to process, please avoid contacting the team for an update before this time has passed.

Benefits service

Address: Broadgate House
Customer Service Centre
Broadgate
Coventry
CV1 1FS

Telephone: 024 7683 1800 [tel:02476831800]

Council Tax Support

Council Tax Support (CTS)

Council Tax Support is a means tested discount which helps low income households with the cost of Council Tax payments.

The Government sets the rules which tells us how much CTS can be paid to people of pension age, and Coventry City Council is responsible for setting the Council Tax Support scheme for working age households

If your household is classed as being of working age then you will need to pay at least 15 per cent of your council tax bill. You may receive help with the remaining 85 per cent depending on your income and the make up of your household. Pension age households can receive up to 100 per cent support depending on their circumstances.

Claim Council Tax Support

Second Adult Rebate 

Second Adult Rebate can be claimed by people of pension age. Second Adult Rebate is paid to single people (or people who are treated as single) who are liable to pay Council Tax (but not entitled to Council Tax Support in their own right) but have someone living with them who does not share liability, and who is on a low income. 

Second Adult rebate is calculated on the gross income of the second adult(s) and no account is taken of the liable person's income or capital. The amount of rebate you get depends on the income of the adult living with you.

You cannot be awarded both main Council Tax Support and Second Adult Rebate at the same time; a comparison is made and you will receive the higher of the two.

Can I claim Second Adult Rebate?

If you are of pension age, your income or capital is too high and you are not entitled to claim Council Tax Support in your own right , you can make a claim for a second adult rebate if you have another adult living with you who is:

  • Aged 18 or over.
  • Not liable to pay the claimants rent for living in the accommodation.
  • Not a person who is disregarded for discount purposes, e.g. a person who is severely mentally impaired.
  • Not the claimant's partner (married or unmarried).
  • Not liable to pay Council Tax for the household.

Claim Second Adult Rebate

Please note all benefit claims may take up to 8 weeks to process, please avoid contacting the team for an update before this time has passed.

You may receive an error message when you have submitted the form, this is a system issue in the background only, and we are receiving all submitted forms. Please do not resubmit further forms or contact us regarding this issue.

This issue is under investigation with our IT department.

Thank you.

Your Council Tax Bill

A 25% discount applies to all single households. Exemptions apply for people who are severely mentally impaired and live on their own [http://www.coventry.gov.uk/info/55/council_tax/3315/exemptions_for_occupied_properties].

You will receive your Council Tax bill in March telling you how much you have to pay.

How to pay your Council Tax [http://www.coventry.gov.uk/info/55/council_tax/2289/how_to_pay_your_council_tax_bill].

Council Tax Support Scheme

Read full details of our Council Tax Support Scheme 2023-24 [https://www.coventry.gov.uk/downloads/file/35609/council-tax-support-scheme-2023-24] for working-age customers:

Council Tax Support Scheme 2024-25

The Council has concluded a consultation on a new Council Tax Support scheme for 2024-25. This consultation ran from 13 December 2023 to 7 February 2024. A response to the consultation will be issued shortly

Read the draft proposed Council Tax Support scheme for 2024-25 [https://www.coventry.gov.uk/downloads/file/41302/proposed-council-tax-support-scheme-2024-25]

Benefits service

Address: Broadgate House
Customer Service Centre
Broadgate
Coventry
CV1 1FS

Telephone: 024 7683 1800 [tel:02476831800]

Under occupancy calculator "bedroom tax"

If you are renting a property from a Registered Social Landlord (RSL) your Housing Benefit may be reduced if you have more bedrooms than you need.

The rules allow one bedroom for:

  • Every adult / couple
  • Any other adult aged 16 or over
  • Any two dependent children of the same sex aged under 16
  • Any two dependent children regardless of their sex aged 10 or under
  • Any other dependent child aged under 16

If you have one extra bedroom than the rules allow, then the rent used in your Housing Benefit calculation will be reduced by 14%.  If you have two or more extra bedrooms then the reduction will be 25%.

Anyone subject to this under-occupancy, can apply for a Discretionary Housing Payment [https://www.coventry.gov.uk/benefits-1/discretionary-housing-payments] to see if the shortfall can be met through this claim.

Housing Benefit will not be subject to under-occupancy restriction for:

  • people of pension age
  • Shared ownership accommodation
  • Supported/exempt accommodation
  • Homeless/temporary accommodation
  • Sanctuary Scheme

Benefits service

Address: Broadgate House
Customer Service Centre
Broadgate
Coventry
CV1 1FS

Telephone: 024 7683 1800 [tel:02476831800]

How is my Housing Benefit and Council Tax Support worked out?

If you get Income Support, income related Employment and Support Allowance or income-based Job Seeker's Allowance:

You will get the maximum amount of rent after we have taken off charges for:

  • Other people who live with you - these are called non-dependants.
  • Service charges.
  • Any rent restrictions, which the rent officer has told us about.

In all other cases:

  • We work out your benefit by comparing the money you get each week with your 'applicable amount'.
  • Your applicable amount is what the Government says you and your family need to live on each week.
  • The applicable amount will be higher for some people - for example, if you are disabled or if you are a one-parent family.

When we have worked out what money you get each week if it's less than or the same as the applicable amount you will usually get the maximum benefit. But don't forget, if you have non-dependants living with you we might have to make deductions from your benefit for them.

Also, the amount of Housing Benefit you get might be affected by what the rent officer has said, or by any service charges that are included in your rent.

Please note:

If your income is less than or the same as, your 'applicable amount', you should claim Employment and Support Allowance or Universal Credit as you might get more help.

You may also be able to claim other benefits, for example, Universal Credit.

Are you unsure how much benefit you will receive, or how much money you will have left once you have paid your bills?

Use our benefits calculator [https://betteroffcalculator.co.uk/api/remoteAuth/6188dae41629cd61480033f716ec4acd76b9da41b8748bf5c62e58b8a07096b5] to:

  • See how much benefit you might be entitled to
  • Help to identify your priority bills and manage your money
  • See how changes in your circumstances would affect your income

There are also a number of local and national agencies [http://www.coventry.gov.uk/info/54/benefits/2641/universal_credit/11] that can provide advice and support.

Please note all benefit claims may take up to 4 weeks to process, please avoid contacting the team for an update before this time has passed.

Benefits service

Address: Broadgate House
Customer Service Centre
Broadgate
Coventry
CV1 1FS

Telephone: 024 7683 1800 [tel:02476831800]

What money do you count when you work out my benefit?

We count any money you have coming in. This includes things like:

  • Department for Work and Pensions benefits
  • Self-employment earnings
  • Works pensions
  • Wages
  • Working tax credit and child tax credit.

We count the money you earn from work after money has been taken out for:

  • Tax and National Insurance contributions; and,
  • Half of any money you pay into a pension fund.

If you work we will need to see:

  • Your last five payslips if you are paid every week; or,
  • Your last two payslips if you are paid every month.

If you are self-employed, we usually want to see your recent accounts. If you can't provide these, please contact us for more advice.

What about other money I have?

Small amounts of savings and investments may not affect your claim, but you must tell us about all your savings and investments, including current bank accounts. You must tell us about all the bank and building society accounts that you, your partner or your children have. Don't forget to tell us about any stocks and shares that you have too. If you having savings over £16,000 then you will not be eligible to claim.

Please remember to tell us about all the different kinds of income you get. If you are not sure, just check with us.

Benefits service

Address: Broadgate House
Customer Service Centre
Broadgate
Coventry
CV1 1FS

Telephone: 024 7683 1800 [tel:02476831800]

What happens if there are other people living with me?

If you have friends, relatives or anyone aged 18 or over living in your home, you may get less benefit. These people are called 'non-dependants'.

We may take an amount of your benefit for each non-dependant who lives in your home.

Non-dependants do not include:

  • Your partner
  • A child you get Child Benefit for
  • People under 18
  • People in full-time education
  • People on youth training schemes.

We will not take any money out of your benefit for non-dependants if:

  • You get Attendance Allowance
  • You get the care component of Disability Living Allowance
  • You receive the daily living component of Personal Independence Payment
  • You are registered blind
  • The non-dependant is a paid carer provided by a charitable or voluntary organisation
  • The non dependant is under 25, and on Income Support or Income based Job Seekers' Allowance

Benefits service

Address: Broadgate House
Customer Service Centre
Broadgate
Coventry
CV1 1FS

Telephone: 024 7683 1800 [tel:02476831800]

How long will it take you to work out my benefit?

We aim to have claims paid within a month, but it depends on how quickly you give us all the information we need. When we have all the information, we will work out your benefit and write to you to tell you how much you will get.

When will my benefit start?

If you qualify, your benefit will be calculated from the Monday after we get your claim form. If you think your benefit should start earlier, you can request 'backdating [https://www.coventry.gov.uk/benefits-1/housing-benefit-council-tax-support/12]'.

Benefits service

Address: Broadgate House
Customer Service Centre
Broadgate
Coventry
CV1 1FS

Telephone: 024 7683 1800 [tel:02476831800]

When will you pay my benefit?

We will usually pay you every two weeks for the previous two weeks and we will pay directly into your account.

In some circumstances, we can pay directly to your landlord. If we pay your landlord, we will pay them every four weeks for the previous four weeks.

Please note all benefit claims may take up to 4 weeks to process, please avoid contacting the team for an update before this time has passed.

Benefits service

Address: Broadgate House
Customer Service Centre
Broadgate
Coventry
CV1 1FS

Telephone: 024 7683 1800 [tel:02476831800]

What happens if I'm self-employed?

Information requirements for self-employed claimants

If you have recently started trading on a self-employed basis, we need an estimate of your likely income and expenses for the business since you started trading. This will help us to pay your Housing Benefit/Council Tax Support sooner rather than having to wait until you have been trading for a few months.

If you do not have prepared accounts, or you have been trading for less than 12 months, please complete a self-employed certificate of earnings form [/downloads/download/3263/self_employed_certificate_of_earnings_form].

If you have been trading for over 12 months, please send us your most recent profit and loss accounts.

Please do not send us any receipts unless we have asked for them.

What is your total income for Housing Benefit/Council Tax Support purposes?

You need to provide details of all the income of the business as well as any other money coming into your household. This includes interest from business bank accounts, tips, commission and royalties.

Which expenses are then taken off this income?

You must provide details of all of your expenses. Only expenses that are 'wholly and exclusively' incurred in relation to the business can be allowed for Housing Benefit/Council Tax Support purposes.

Please note that the rules about expenses allowed for Housing Benefit/Council Tax Support purposes are different to those for Income Tax purposes. For example, depreciation and business entertainment expenses are not taken into account in the assessment of your Housing Benefit/Council Tax Support.

Self-employed childminders

If you are a childminder, you do not need to tell us about your expenses. This is because childminders are treated differently; instead of taking off your actual expenses, we work out a third of your total income and we treat it as your 'business income' for Housing Benefit/Council Tax Support purposes.

Business partnerships

If you are employed in a partnership, the pre-tax profit for the business (gross income minus expenses) is divided equally between the number of partners. If there is a formal agreement in the partnership which governs that profit should be treated differently, then this will take priority.

Tax and National Insurance

After the net profit of the business is worked out we will make an assessment of Income Tax and National Insurance contributions. These figures may differ from the figures worked out by HM Revenue and Customs.

Private pensions

Please supply proof of any contributions you may make into a personal or private pension. Half of any contribution that you make will not be counted as part of your income for Housing Benefit/Council Tax Support purposes.

Apply for Housing Benefit / Council Tax Support

Report a change in circumstances to an existing Housing Benefit / Council Tax Support

Benefits service

Address: Broadgate House
Customer Service Centre
Broadgate
Coventry
CV1 1FS

Telephone: 024 7683 1800 [tel:02476831800]

What evidence will I need to provide?

When you make an online claim, you will be told what evidence is needed.

It may include completing the following forms:

Benefits service

Address: Broadgate House
Customer Service Centre
Broadgate
Coventry
CV1 1FS

Telephone: 024 7683 1800 [tel:02476831800]

Can I apply for my claim to be backdated?

We can pay Housing Benefit and/or Council Tax Support from an earlier date if you have good cause for not claiming sooner. For Housing Benefit, the maximum that can be agreed for working-age customers is 1 month and for Council Tax Support it is 12 months

This is not an automatic entitlement and will depend on your reasons for making a late claim.

If you are of pensionable age your claim will be automatically considered for backdating for up to 3 months before you claimed - you will not need to request this.

How do I apply for backdating?

If you have not yet made a claim there is a section on the online claim form  where you can request backdating.

If you have already claimed and now want to apply for backdating you can download a backdating form [/downloads/file/18297/backdated_benefits_form].

Benefits service

Address: Broadgate House
Customer Service Centre
Broadgate
Coventry
CV1 1FS

Telephone: 024 7683 1800 [tel:02476831800]