Benefits

 

FAQ Icon

Do I need my reference number to speak to you?

Yes, it would help us if you tell us your benefit reference number when you contact us, otherwise we will have to do other checks with you to confirm your identity and in some circumstances we may not be able to speak to you.

Your reference number is normally quoted on the top right-hand side of any letters we have sent you.  It starts with a 1 or 4.

Do I need an appointment to come see you?

No, we operate a ticket system so you can drop in without an appointment.  Our office at the Town Hall in Ripley is open from 9am to 4.30pm Monday to Friday, apart from Wednesday when we open at 10am.

Alternatively, you can visit one of our Town Centre Offices if you want to pick up a form or have any documents copied.

Do I need to be on a DWP benefit to claim Housing Benefit and Council Tax Support?

No, you can claim Housing Benefit and Council Tax Support even if you don't get a Department for Work and Pension ( DWP ) benefit.

Housing Benefit and Council Tax Support are a means-tested benefits, which means that the amount you receive will be based on your income and circumstances.

Can I claim Housing Benefit and Council Tax Support if I work?

Yes, you can claim if you work and receive a low income.  We will need to see proof of your earnings and any other income you receive, like Tax Credits, and proof of your capital/assets.

Can I claim Housing Benefit and Council Tax Support if I am self-employed?

Yes, you can claim if you are self-employed and receive a low income from your business.  You will need to send us your most recent accounts.  If you don't have any accounts we can send you our self-employed profit and loss form to complete. If this is a new business we will require a figure of your projected earnings.  You will also need to provide your last two months bank statements.

How do I get my Housing Benefit money?

We like to pay your Housing Benefit money directly into your bank account as this is the safest and quickest way of paying you.

If you don't have a bank account and have difficulty opening one, we can pay into a local Credit Union account; these accounts are easy to open.  Please contact Derbyshire Community Bank on 01332 348144 to discuss further.

When do I get my Housing benefit money?

Housing Benefit payments made directly into your bank are paid into your account on the Wednesday of your payment week.

Housing benefit cheques are posted out on a Monday so you should receive them on a Wednesday.

Normally Housing Benefit is paid 4 weekly in arrears, so when you get a payment it will be for the previous 4 weeks benefit.

In some circumstances we can pay your Housing Benefit every 2 weeks in arrears; you will need to ask us to do this.  In a very few limited cases we can pay the Housing Benefit every week.

Can I have my Housing Benefit paid calendar monthly?

No, we do not make Housing Benefit payments for a calendar monthly period.

Normally Housing Benefit is paid 4 weekly in arrears, so when you get a payment it will be for the previous 4 weeks benefit.  This will mean that in a year you will get 13 payments of Housing Benefit.

In some circumstances we can pay your Housing Benefit every 2 weeks in arrears; you will need to ask us to do this.  In a very few limited cases we can pay the Housing Benefit every week.

Can I have my Housing Benefit paid to my landlord?

If you live in a Housing Association property, like Futures Homescape, we can pay your Housing Benefit direct to your landlord if you ask us to. 

If you live in a privately rented property normally housing benefit will be paid directly to you. Under the Local Housing Allowance rules, the tenant does not have the option to request that payments be made to their landlord although the council may decide to do this if there is a good reason, e.g. if there are rent arrears or the customer would struggle to manage their rent payments, etc.

I am a landlord can I ask for my tenants Housing Benefit to be paid direct to me?

If a tenant is more than 8 weeks in arrears with their rent payments to you, then you can ask us to consider making payments of Housing Benefit directly to you.  You will need to write to us giving details of your tenant and the details of their arrears, providing proof if possible, like a copy of the rent account or rent statement.  Please also let us know the details of the bank account you would like the payments paid into.

We will then ask the tenant to let us know if they dispute the arrears and look into making payments directly to yourself.

In some limited circumstances we can make payments directly to the landlord before the tenant is in 8 weeks arrears, this is where the tenant would struggle to make payments themselves. If you think your tenant cannot deal with making rent payments themselves and so is likely to go into arrears, please write to us giving details of why the tenant would struggle to arrange rent payments, for example medical problems or severe financial difficulties.  We will then look into whether payments can be made to you.

Will you pay Housing Benefit for my rent deposit or my bond?

No, we cannot pay Housing Benefit for any rent deposit or bond you have to pay prior to moving into a property.

However Futures Homescape do run a Bond Guarantee Scheme, please contact them on 01773 573100 for more details.

Can I get Housing Benefit on a property owned by my family?

If you pay rent to a close relative who lives in the same home as you, you will not get Housing Benefit.

If your landlord is a close relative, but does not live with you, you may be entitled to Housing Benefit, it will depend on your relationship with the family member and the type of rental agreement you have with them.  We will want to take a detailed look at your agreement with your landlord and in some cases you and your landlord may be asked to attend an interview to discuss your details further.

How is Council Tax Support paid?

If you are awarded this support, normally the amount you are entitled to will be used to reduce your council tax bill. However, if the award of your Council Tax Support puts your council tax account in credit, you will be entitled to a repayment of the credit amount.  Alternatively, you may wish to leave the credit on your account to carry forward to your next year's council tax bill.

Does the amount of capital/assets I have affect my claim?

It will depend on the total amount of capital you and your partner have as to whether it will affect your benefit entitlement.

  • If you and your partner have joint capital of more than £16,000 you will not normally be able to get housing benefit or Council Tax Support.
  • You can have up to £6,000 capital before it affects your benefit entitlement if you are under pension age.
  • You can have up to £10,000 capital before it affects your benefit entitlement if you are Pension age.
  • Under Pension age: A tariff of £1 will be applied for every £250 between £6,000 and £16,000 when we work out entitlement to benefit. For every £250 above £6,000 we say you have an extra £1 of income per week.
  • Over Pension age: A tariff of £1 for every £500 between £10,000 and £16,000 is taken into account when we work out entitlement to benefit. For every £500 above £10,000 we say you have an extra £1 of income per week.
  • Capital includes cash, current accounts, other bank/building society/post office accounts, unit trusts, ISAs, TESSAs, National Savings certificates, shares, premium bonds and property (other than the home you live in) or land you own

What is ‘bedroom tax’?

If you are a Housing Association tenant and are of working age, since 1 April 2013, new housing benefit rules mean you won't be able to get housing benefit to pay for all of your rent if your home has 'spare bedrooms'. This is being called the 'bedroom tax', but letters from us refer to it as 'under-occupancy'

Pensioners claiming housing benefit won't be affected.

The new limit on the number of rooms you can claim for is based on the number of people living in your home. If you have more bedrooms than the new rules say you need, you will be treated as 'under-occupying' your home. You'll get less of your rent paid for by housing benefit.

If housing benefit no longer covers the full cost of your rent, you will have to pay the rest of the rent yourself. This must be paid directly to your landlord.

See Shelter link for more details.

How many bedrooms am I allowed?

The following bedrooms are allowed when deciding your benefit entitlement

  • one bedroom for a couple
  • one bedroom for a person aged 16 or over
  • one bedroom for two children aged under 16 of the same sex
  • one bedroom for two children aged under 10 (boys and girls are expected to share a room)
  • one bedroom for any other child

Please note - in some circumstances an additional bedroom can be allowed for an overnight carer, a child with severe disabilities, a foster carer and an adult child away on Armed Forces operations. Please contact us for further information.

Use this link to calculate how many bedrooms you are eligible for.

What happens if I am under-occupying?

If you rent your home from a Housing Association and you have one or more extra bedrooms your housing benefit may be reduced. The amount allowed for rent and any service charges will be reduced by:

  • 14% if you have one extra bedroom
  • 25% if you have two or more extra bedrooms

What are the Local Housing Allowance rates in Amber Valley?

To find out the Local Housing Allowance rates follow this link.

Do Tax Credits affect my Housing Benefit and Council Tax Support?

Yes, Child Tax Credit and Working Tax Credit are counted as an income when working out your benefit entitlement, so you must inform us if you start to receive these benefits, or you have a change in the amount you are paid.

Do I need to fill in a new benefit form when I move house?

You will need to inform us of your change of address to claim benefit at your new address.  If all of your circumstances are the same and it is just the address that is changing then you can complete a 'change of address' form.

You can complete the change of address form online - follow this link.

Do I need to tell you of a change in my circumstances?

Yes, you must tell us immediately of any change likely to affect your entitlement to Housing Benefit and Council Tax Support.

Failure to do so may mean you will be overpaid benefit, and you may then have to pay the money back. Some changes may mean that you get more benefit.

You can report a change in circumstances by completing our online form.

 

 

Contact Details
Rate This Page

Thank you for rating our page as .

Your feedback is very important as it enables us to continually improve our site to meet your needs.

Please give a brief explanation of why you considered this page to be  and click on the submit button below to confirm your rating.



+ Additional Contact details (optional)



If you have a general comment or complaint about the Council's services, please visit our comments or complaints page.
rate page as good  rate page as average  rate page as poor 

Do you need further information?

If for some reason you are unable to find the information which you require on our website, you can contact us by the following methods.


address logoAmber Valley Borough Council, Town Hall, Market Place, Ripley, Derbyshire, DE5 3BT
address logo01773 841470 *Calls are recorded for quality and training purposes
address logobenefits@ambervalley.gov.uk
address logoComplete our online enquiry form
address logoText the word COUNCIL followed by your message to 60060 *Standard network rates apply
This site uses simple text files called 'cookies' to collect statistics about the number of people using the website, but they don't tell us who you are. Cookies help us keep the site relevant and up-to-date. By continuing to browse the site you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more