Housing benefit, which is administered by the council, helps people on low incomes to meet the cost of their rent.
The council also administers Council Tax Reduction (CTR) under the local Council Tax Support Scheme.
Both are means-tested so the amount of help you're entitled to will depend on your weekly income and savings, as well as your household circumstances.
If you're in receipt of a state benefit such as Income Support or Jobseeker's Allowance, you must still make a claim for Housing Benefit and/or Council Tax Reduction as it's not awarded automatically. You can make a claim whether your landlord is a housing association, or a private individual, or a company. Please note, you can't normally claim if you live with a member of your family and pay them rent.
The amount of rent eligible when claiming Housing Benefit is different depending on whether a property is rented from a private landlord, or any of the following, as different rules apply:
- Renting from a registered social landlord
- Living in a hostel
- Living in board and lodge accommodation
- Living in a 'protected property' (eg supported housing)
- Excluded tenancies (pre-1989)
- Exceptional cases (ie caravans, houseboats)
Housing benefit is included in the benefit cap, which may reduce the amount you're paid. Read more about the benefit cap.
Tenants renting from a registered social landlord
Working age claimants who are living in accommodation provided by a registered social landlord or a housing association, who have more bedrooms than their household needs, will have their eligible rent reduced.
Council Tax Reduction (CTR)
If you're liable to pay Council Tax, you can apply for Council Tax Reduction. It's available to help people on low incomes to reduce the amount of Council Tax they have to pay. This includes people who work but are on a low wage.
For Council Tax payers of pensionable age, a second adult rebate could be claimed. This is based on the circumstances of any other adult who lives with you, irrespective of your own financial circumstances. This can't be a partner or someone who pays rent to you.
The Council Tax support scheme for 2016/17 runs from 1 April 2016 to 1 April 2017. Details of the scheme are available below:
Details of the scheme in previous years are also available, for information only:
- Council Tax support scheme 2015/16
- Council Tax support scheme 2014/15
- Overpayment of benefits leaflet
How to claim
Once you've made a claim, you must let the council know straight away if your circumstances change. You can submit a change of circumstances form online.
Benefit is usually paid from the Monday following the date the council receives the request to claim benefit. It's important that you don't delay making your claim or you risk losing part of your entitlement. Any evidence needed to support your claim can be uploaded when you make your claim.
Please note, Middlesbrough Council may share your information with, and receive information from, other government bodies and credit reference agencies to prevent and detect crime, and protect public funds. If you want to know more about how Middlesbrough Council uses your information, visit the Data Protection page.