Housing Benefit and Council Tax Support
Who can claim Housing Benefit and Council Tax Support
If you are on low income, you may be able to claim Housing Benefit or Council Tax Support.
Council Tax Support
Council Tax Support will only cover up to 85 per cent of your Council Tax. Some people will get this full amount.
How much will I get?
There are a number of things that affect entitlement:
- money you and your partner (if any) have coming in
- your savings and your partner's savings
- how many bedrooms there are in your home
- circumstances such as your age, ages and size of your family, any disabled members of the family, whether anyone who lives with you can help with living costs.
You cannot get Council Tax Support if you have savings or investments of over £16,000, unless you are receiving Guarantee Pension Credit.
Savings of between £6,000 and £16,000 will affect how much benefit you will get.
Other discounts and rebates
Some people, for example those who live alone and people with disabilities, qualify for Council Tax discounts. You may be eligible for:
- a Council Tax exemption on your property
- a Council Tax discount.
If you have other adults living with you who are on a low income (but not your partner), you may be able to claim a second adult rebate.
Housing Benefit is only available to people who rent their homes, whether it's from the Royal Borough of Greenwich, a private landlord or a housing association.
Housing Benefit cannot help with mortgage payments. If you are a homeowner, you may be able to get some help with the interest payments on your mortgage if you are on certain benefits, including income support, income-based Jobseeker's Allowance (JSA), or income-related Employment and Support Allowance.
Contact your local Jobcentre for advice using the contact details on the right.
Do you have to be unemployed to get Housing Benefit?
You do not have to be unemployed to get Housing Benefit. Housing Benefit can be paid to most people who have a low income.
Can everyone on a low income get Housing Benefit?
Most rent payers with a low income can get Housing Benefit, but some people are excluded from benefit.
How low does my income have to be to get Housing Benefit?
There are a number of things which affect entitlement:
- your age and the age of any partner you have
- any children that you may have living with you
- whether you or anyone you live with gets a disability benefit
- any other people you live with including non-dependants, who would be expected to make a contribution to household costs
- the type of rent agreement you have
- your income and the income of people who live with you, including some benefits
- any savings or property worth over £6,000 that you and your partner have.
The following benefits are not taken into account when calculating your income:
- Guarantee Pension Credit
- Income Support
- Income Based Jobseeker's Allowance
- Income Related Employment Support Allowance
- Attendance Allowance
- Disability Living Allowance
- War Disablement Pensions
- War Widow's or Widower's Pensions.
Who may not be able to get Housing Benefit?
Below is a list of people who may not be able to get benefit:
- some full-time students
- people who rent their home from a close relative with whom they live
- some people who are subject to immigration control
- some EU nationals who are not engaged in work
- people with over £16,000 in savings or property
- some people who make payments other than rent for their home.
Because the rules are complex we advise you to make a claim and we will let you know if you are entitled.
If, after viewing our webpages on Council Tax Support or Housing Benefit, you still have questions, get in touch with the Advice and Benefits Service. You can contact us by post, telephone, email or in person.
You can visit us in person at the Eltham Centre or The Woolwich Centre.
If you are unhappy with the service you have received from us you should tell us immediately by telephoning, writing or visiting the office.
You can also get independent advice on housing benefits using our advice centre finder on the right of this page.