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Claiming Benefits

Housing benefit and council tax reduction

As the local authority, we oversee housing benefit and council tax reduction on behalf of the government.

Universal Credit

If you are of working age, you will need to claim Universal Credit for your housing costs. We are unable to accept new claims for Housing Benefit, unless you fall into one of the exceptions.

However, if you are responsible for Council Tax and you would like to claim Council Tax Reduction, you need to do this through Ashford Borough Council – claim Council Tax reduction.

Housing benefit

This benefit is to help you pay your rent. Housing benefit is a means-tested benefit payable to people on a low income. New claims for Housing Benefit can only be accepted for Pensioners or people in supported/exempt or temporary accommodation – claim Housing Benefit.

Council tax reduction

This benefit is to help you pay your council tax. Council tax reduction is a means-tested benefit payable to people on a low income. Applicants must be liable to pay council tax on the property they live in, whether it is rented or owned. 

Second adult rebate

This benefit also helps you pay your council tax. If you do not qualify for council tax benefit because your income is too high, you may still qualify for a 25% reduction in your council tax bill. Applicants will need to have other people living with them who have a low income. As of 1 April 2017, second adult rebate is only available for claimants who are of pension age.


Visit our claiming housing benefit and claiming council tax reduction pages for further information. These pages offer explanations on the circumstances in which you may be entitled to these benefits.

Make a new claim for housing benefit and council tax reduction online – it's the quickest and easiest way.

Please complete the council tax reduction form if we have written to you advising you to claim council tax reduction. We will do this if you have completed a housing benefit from through the Department of Works and Pensions (DWP).

In all cases you should claim as soon as you think you need to. Housing benefit and council tax support will normally only be awarded from the Monday after we receive your form.

If you do not submit your form to us straight away – perhaps, for example, you have been unwell – you can ask us to consider backdating the start of your claim to a date earlier than the date we received it. You will have to prove good cause for your failure to claim when you first needed the help. The maximum amount of time that a claim can be considered for backdating is one month for working age claimants and three months for pension age claimants.

If you are asked to provide supporting documentary evidence in respect of your benefit claim you can do so by completing our online form. Please attach your documents if we have asked for supporting evidence.

You can estimate your entitlement to benefit online

Other resources

If potential applicants would like support with regards to food then you can visit our information about local food banks, and for other support with regards to food and utilities you can approach the Kent Support and Assistance Service (KSAS).

Homes for Ukraine

If somebody moves in with you under the Ukraine Family Scheme, please let us know. They will be included as part of your household. Any Council Tax discounts or Council Tax reductions may be affected.

If somebody moves in with you under the Ukraine Sponsorship Scheme (Homes for Ukraine), please let us know. This will not have any effect on your Council Tax discounts or reductions. However, we will make a note on our records. 

Find out more information about the different schemes.

Further information

For public service information on benefits from the government visit the Gov.uk website.