If you are on a low income, you may be able to get council tax support. If you need help with your rent, you may need to claim Universal Credit.

The amount of benefit you will get depends on:

  • Who lives with you
  • The amount of money you have coming in
  • Other benefits you receive
  • Any savings you have

You can claim housing benefit and council tax support from us. You can claim other benefits, like Universal Credit, from the government.

Help with you with your rent - claiming housing benefit or Universal Credit

If you need help paying your rent, you cannot make a new claim for housing benefit unless you fall into certain categories:

  • Considered homeless and living in temporary accommodation
  • Living in supported accommodation
  • A pensioner - if you are a couple, your partner must also be a pensioner

You will need to check with the Department for Work and Pensions first to see if you need to claim Universal Credit instead.

For more details, see our Universal Credit page.

If you do not need to claim Universal Credit, you may be able to get housing benefit if you:

  • Are on a low income (including income support, job seeker's allowance, employment and support allowance, a pension or disability benefits)
  • Pay rent for:
    • A room, flat or house
    • Board and lodgings
    • A mobile home, boat or caravan
  • Have savings of less than £16,000 (although the limit may be higher for some pensioners - please see the GOV.UK pension credits page for more information). If you have savings or investments of more than £6,000 this may affect the amount of benefit/support you get

For details of how to claim, see our how to claim housing benefit or council tax support page.

Council tax support to help you with your council tax

You may be able to get council tax support to help you pay your council tax if you are on a low income (including income support, job seeker's allowance, employment and support allowance, a pension or disability benefits). Please note:

  • If you are of working age, and have savings or investments of more than £6,000, we cannot pay you any council tax support
  • If you are over 60 and have savings of more than £10,000, but less than £16,000, this may affect the amount of council tax support you receive
  • If you are over 60, with savings over £16,000, please see the GOV.UK pension credits page for more information
  • To claim council tax support, you must be the person who is liable to pay the council tax bill for the property. You might be the owner, a landlord or the tenant of a property
  • If you rent a property and are liable to pay council tax, you can claim for housing benefit and council tax support on one form

For details of how to claim, see our how to claim housing benefit or council tax support page.

Second adult rebate

Second adult rebate (2AR) is another way to receive help paying your council tax. You cannot get both council tax support and second adult rebate. We will check which of these benefits will give you most help.

We award second adult rebate when a person claiming council tax support has a second adult living in their home, and that second adult is on a low income (including any benefits).

The person who is liable to pay the council tax bill must still make the claim for second adult rebate, giving details of their own income, as well as that of the second adult.

If you think you might qualify for second adult rebate, ask us for a claim form second adult rebate claim form.

Discretionary housing payments (DHP)/exceptional hardship payment (EHF)

Discretionary housing payments and exceptional hardship payments help people with their housing costs (rent and council tax) where their benefit or support doesn't cover the full rent or council tax bill. We only give these if your circumstances are exceptional.

These payments are in addition to housing benefit and council tax support, but cannot be more than the rent or council tax.

Apply for a discretionary housing payment/exceptional hardship payment

Complete the Discretionary housing payments form or Exceptional hardship claim form and provide as much information as possible. If you need help filling out the form, please contact us using the contact details on this page.

You must be in receipt of Housing Benefit, or the Universal Credit housing cost element for DHP, and Council Tax Support for EHF, to qualify for these payments

Please note that we cannot help with some parts of your rent, for instance if it includes meals, heating, lighting, hot water or water rates.

Benefits you can claim from the government

You may be entitled to extra help from the government. The GOV.UK benefits pages provide details of other benefits and have a benefits advisor tool that can give you an idea of other benefits you may be entitled to.

To get an accurate calculation of the housing or council tax support you may be entitled to, contact us using the contact details on this page. If you would like a rough guide please use our Housing benefit/council tax support calculator.

Additional information

Housing benefit form
Housing benefit fact sheet
Council tax support fact sheet


Contact us