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Claiming Benefits

Test and Trace Support Payment

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Housing benefit and council tax reduction

The local authority administers housing benefit and council tax reduction on behalf of the government. This includes:

Housing benefit

Help with your rent. Housing benefit is a means-tested benefit payable to people on a low income who are liable to pay rent for accommodation they are occupying as their home.

Council tax reduction

Help with your council tax. Council tax reduction is payable to people on a low income who are liable to pay council tax on the property they live in, whether it is rented or owned. It is also a means-tested benefit.

Second adult rebate

Help with 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 if there are other people living with you who have a low income. From 1 of April 2017, second adult rebate is only available for claimants who are of pension age.


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

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

If we have written to you advising you to claim council tax reduction, as you have completed a housing benefit form via the Department of Works and Pensions, please complete the council tax reduction form.

In all cases you should claim as soon as you think you need to, as 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 requested to provide supporting documentary evidence in respect of your benefit claim you can do so by completing our online form and attaching the documents.

You can estimate your entitlement to benefit online.

Universal Credit – Full Service

If you are of working age, you will need to claim Universal Credit for your housing costs, from the 20th June 2018, as the Local Authority is 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

Further information

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