Housing Benefit and Council Tax Support

About Housing Benefit and Council Tax Support

Housing Benefit is a means-tested benefit to help you pay rent. Housing Benefit may not pay your full rent.

Council Tax Support is a scheme to reduce Council Tax bills for people on a low income. Council Tax Support covers up to 85 per cent of the Council Tax bill for people of working age, and up to 100 per cent for pensioners.

If you can't get Council Tax Support, you may get your bill reduced for other reasons, for example if you live alone, are a carer or if your home has been adapted to meet the needs of a disabled person. Find out about other Council Tax discounts, exemptions and Second Adult Rebate.

Who can claim

You may be able to claim Housing Benefit or Council Tax Support if you're on a low income.

You need to rent your home to qualify for Housing Benefit. You can't get Housing Benefit if you're a homeowner, but there is other financial help available for homeowners.

You can claim Housing Benefit whether or not you're working.

Please note - You can't get Housing Benefit or Council Tax Support if you have savings or investments over £16,000 unless you are receiving Guarantee Pension Credit (Gov.UK). Savings of between £6,000 and £16,000 will affect how much benefit you get.

How much you can get

The amount you get depends on:

  • money that you and your partner have coming in
  • your savings and your partner's savings
  • any other people you live with
  • other circumstances such as your age, ages and size of your family, if anyone in your family is disabled.

If you're a council or housing association tenant, the amount you get also depends on:

  • your eligible rent (this is the amount of rent we use in our assessment)
  • if you're under pension age and have spare bedrooms.

If you rent your home from a private landlord, the amount you get depends on the Local Housing Allowance - this may be lower than your actual rent.

Contact the Welfare Rights Service to check how much you can get or for a free benefits check.

Apply for Housing Benefit and Council Tax Support

Download a Housing Benefit and Council Tax Support application form

You can also collect a form from one of our service centres or request one - email or call 020 8921 4900.

You need to send or take the completed application form together with the required supporting documents to the address on the form.

The Council will photocopy original documents and return them to you if you take them in or return them by recorded delivery if you post them.

What happens next

The Council will write to you to tell you its decision or to request further information to support your claim. Once your application is approved, the Council will normally make a payment to you or your landlord within 14 days.

If your application isn't approved, you can appeal.

Backdating your claim

You can ask for your claim to be backdated although you must have a good reason for the request.

Your claim can be backdated for up to one month before the date of your claim unless you've reached the minimum age for claiming Pension Credit (Gov.UK) (currently 63) in which case it can be backdated for three months.

To request backdating, complete section 25 of the application form.

If your circumstances change

You must tell us about any changes in your circumstances or any changes in the circumstances of the people who live with you.

If you don't tell us about a change of circumstance or delay telling us, you may end up with an overpayment which you'll need to repay.

Data protection 

The Royal Borough of Greenwich checks and verifies all information provided in support of Housing Benefit and Council Tax Support claims. See our data protection information for details of how we collect and distribute personal information.

Contact Advice and Benefits

Advice and Benefits,
The Woolwich Centre,
35 Wellington Street,
London SE18 6HQ

020 8921 4900

020 8921 2016

Contact Jobcentre Plus

0800 055 6688