Claim Housing Benefit
You could claim Housing Benefit to help you pay your rent if you are:
- residing in temporary accommodation (placed in or out of the borough by Barking and Dagenham Council), or a council hostel
- residing in supported exempt accommodation
- residing in Housing Association sheltered accommodation
- you have reached State Pension Credit age, or are part of a couple where both of you have reached state Pension Credit age
If you do not fall into one of the categories listed above, you will need to claim Universal Credit.
Council Tax Support
To claim Council Tax Support you will need to submit a claim using our online form. To use the online form, you need to be signed in to your Barking and Dagenham Council’s My Account. If you don't have one, you can register for My Account.
Before we can award any Housing Benefit we must see proof of yours and your household’s circumstances. This means you must also provide proof when your circumstances change so we can recalculate your Housing Benefit award and continue paying you.
We usually need to see the following items of proof:
- original proof of identity for you and your partner (for example a driving licence or passport)
- original proof of National Insurance number for you and your partner (for example a National Insurance card, P45, P60 or a payslip)
- proof of identity for all other household members (for example birth certificate, driving license or passport)
- proof of all income you, your partner and all household members receive (such as a Child Support Agency letter, payslips or a letter from Student Finance).
- proof of all benefits you, your partner and all household members receive (such as a recent award letter)
- proof of capital (investments, properties and savings) for you and your partner (two months’ bank statements for all accounts held or jointly held. This includes statements for inactive bank accounts)
- proof of Child Benefit in payment for all children in the household (for example a recent Child Benefit award letter or recent bank statement showing Child Benefit coming in)
- proof of your agreement to pay rent (your tenancy agreement)
This is not a complete list and we could require additional evidence.
Our visiting and welfare officers provide an advisory service to customers in the comfort of their own home. The officers can also assist you with the completion of any council benefit-related forms that are needed.
If you have difficulty in visiting our Council One Stop Shop (assisted self-service) or are housebound we may be able to visit you and help you claim Housing Benefit.
Similarly, if you're finding out how to claim on someone else’s behalf as they're unable to use the internet, you can contact the Visiting and Welfare Team to enquire whether a home visit will be possible.
Visiting and Welfare Team
020 8227 2970
Housing Benefit is usually paid from the Monday following the date we received your application. It is highly recommended that you don’t delay making a claim just because you can’t get the proof we need.
You have one calendar month from the date you make a claim to provide the proof. If you can’t provide the proof within one month you should contact us to query whether alternative proof can be provided.
In special circumstances, we may be able to backdate your claim. This means that we can pay you Housing Benefit from an earlier date than when you submitted your claim.
Qualifying for backdating
To qualify for Housing Benefit backdating you must be able to show that:
- you had a good reason for not claiming Housing Benefit earlier
- your reason or reasons for not claiming earlier lasted until you actually made your claim; this is called ‘continuous good cause’
For example, if you were in hospital and made a claim as soon as possible after leaving hospital, we would treat this as continuous good cause. However, if you made a claim one month after being discharged from hospital, you may not be considered as having good cause for making a late claim and backdated Housing Benefit will not be awarded.
We will usually need to see proof of the things you tell us about. For example, in the situation above, we would need to see a letter from the hospital or your doctor confirming your illness and the length of time you were in hospital.
Making a request for backdating
Your request must be in writing and this can be done either by:
- completing the section on the claim form which asks “Do you want to backdate your claim for benefit?”
- emailing us
- writing to us by post
Roycraft House, 15 Linton Road, Barking IG11 8HE
020 8227 2970
Once we receive your request to backdate your claim we will:
- decide whether you qualify for backdated Housing Benefit
- decide the length of time to award you backdated Housing Benefit (we may decide to award you backdated Housing Benefit for a shorter period than you have requested)
- notify you of our decision by writing and give you full appeal rights should you choose to dispute our decision
If you're under State Pension age
We can backdate your Housing Benefit for a maximum of one month from the date you submitted your backdate request.
If you're State Pension age or above
We may be able to pay you Housing Benefit for up to 3 months before the date you claimed.