How do I claim benefit?
All claims for Benefit must be made in writing on application forms available from Eden District Council, The Pension Service or Jobcentre Plus. See benefit forms if you would like to download a form.
If you or your partner are claiming Income Support / Job Seekers Allowance (Income Based) / Employment and Support Allowance (Income Related) or Pension Credit:
- Make sure that you tell Jobcentre Plus / The Pension Service that you wish to claim Council Tax Benefit / and or Housing Benefit. They will then gather information from you which will help us calculate your claim.
- Jobcentre Plus will then forward the Housing Benefit and / or Council Tax Benefit form/s to us. The Benefits Agency will also confirm to us if you have been granted Income Support / Job Seekers Allowance / Employment and Support Allowance. If you are claiming Pension Credit the form should be returned to the Pension Service who will forward the forms to us.
- Sometimes we may need further information in order to process your claim. If we do, we will write to you to tell you what we need (this could include you filling in one of our claim forms).
- Once we have received all the necessary information, including proof of your identity, we will assess your claim.
- In order to speed the process up you can get and complete a Housing Benefit / Council Tax Benefit form from us as soon as you apply for Income Support / Job Seekers Allowance / Employment and Support Allowance / Pension Credit.
If you are not in receipt of Income Support / Job Seekers Allowance (Income Based) / Employment and Support Allowance (Income Related) or Pension Credits you can still apply for Council Tax Benefit.
- This will be based on your income and your personal / family circumstances. You will need to obtain a claim form from us for completion. Once we have received the completed form from you together with all the necessary information including your proof of identity we will assess your claim for Council Tax Benefit and / or Housing Benefit.
- If you live with a partner you should only make one claim for both of you. It does not matter which of you claim unless one of you is a student.
- If one of you is a student (and the other is not) it is the non-student who should claim, with the student being entered as your partner on the form.
If you do not provide all the information that we ask for we will not be able to work out your claim.
When does Benefit start and end?
Your Council Tax Benefit will normally start on the Monday following the date your application form is received by the Council or the Benefits Agency. If you request the claim form via a telephone call, letter, email or visit then as long as you return the form within one month of your request your benefit will commence from the Monday following the date you requested it. This will even apply if the claim is received on a Monday. It is therefore very important that you send the form as soon as possible, any information to go with the form can be sent separately at a later date.
If you wish your benefit to start from an earlier date then you can make a request for backdating. You can do this by either writing to us or completing the online request form for backdating Council tax benefit.
If your entitlement to benefit stops due to a change in your circumstances, you will normally be paid up to and including the Sunday following the date that the change occurred. For Council Tax Benefit you will normally be paid up to and including the day before you move out.
How often do I have to re-apply for benefit?
You do not have to re-apply for benefit but you are required to inform the Council about changes in your circumstances when they arise. In addition we will be undertaking checks on claims and may write or visit you from time to time to verify the information you have provided.
For further information:
Contact: Benefit Team Leader
Telephone: 01768 212131
Fax: 01768 890470
Address: Eden District Council, Town Hall, Penrith, Cumbria CA11 7QF