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Home chevron_right Benefits and support chevron_right Housing Benefit and Council Tax Reduction chevron_right About the scheme

About Housing Benefit and Council Tax Reduction

Housing Benefit, which is administered by the council, helps people on low incomes to meet the cost of their rent. The council also offers Council Tax Reduction (CTR) under the local Council Tax Support Scheme.

Both of these are means-tested so the amount of help you're entitled to will depend on your savings and weekly income, as well as your household circumstances.

Housing Benefit and/or Council Tax Reduction aren't given automatically; you'll still need to make a claim even if you're getting benefits like Income Support or Jobseeker's Allowance.

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.

Housing Benefit

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:

  • renting from a registered social landlord
  • living in a hostel
  • living in board and lodge accommodation
  • living in a 'protected property' (e.g. supported housing)
  • excluded tenancies (pre-1989)
  • exceptional cases (e.g. caravans, houseboats)

Housing benefit is included in the benefit cap, which may reduce the amount you can claim. 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.

You can read more about this on the bedroom tax page. To find out how many bedrooms your household needs, you can use Citizens Advice's bedroom entitlement calculator.

Tenants renting from a private landlord

The maximum Housing Benefit you can claim will depend on the rate of Local Housing Allowance (LHA) you're entitled to.

LHA is based on how many bedrooms your household is entitled to. You can work out how many bedrooms you're entitled to online.

You can then check how much LHA you're entitled to.

Please note, the amount of LHA depends on how many bedrooms you're entitled to, not how many you actually have.

Council Tax Reduction (CTR)

If you're liable to pay Council Tax, you can apply for Council Tax Reduction. This reduces the amount of Council Tax payable by people on low incomes, including those 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 Reduction scheme for people of working age is 'income banded'. This makes it easier for you, and us, to manage your Council Tax Reduction claim. Visit the new Council Tax Reduction scheme page to find out how much you're likely to get.

The Council Tax Reduction scheme for pensioners has not changed.

How to claim

You can make a new claim for Housing Benefit and Council Tax Reduction online.

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.

Privacy and data protection

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.

Council Tax Reduction scheme documents

The Council Tax support scheme for 2024/2025 runs from 1 April 2024 to 1 April 2025. Details of the scheme are available below:

Details of the scheme in previous years are available for information only: