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Entitlement letters explained

It is important that you read your benefit letters carefully and tell us if anything is wrong. The letters tell you when your benefit starts, how much you will be paid and how your benefit has been calculated.

Housing Benefit and Council Tax Support are ‘means tested’. This means that we compare the weekly money that you get with an amount that we assess that you and your family need to live on. This is called the ‘Applicable Amount’ and is set by the Government. We look at:

  • Whether you are single or live with a partner
  • Whether you have children
  • The age of you and others living with you
  • Whether anybody in the house has a disability
  • Whether you are caring for anyone else


The money you get (income) includes things like earnings, benefits, tax credits, pensions, annuities and even money from friends or relatives. We may also assume an income from your capital and savings – if you have any.

Capital and Savings

These include bank/building society accounts, savings, stocks and shares, ISA’s, National Savings Certificates, premium bonds, redundancy pay and properties/investments that you own or part own.

If you and your partner together have capital of more than £16,000 you may not get any Housing Benefit or Council Tax Support. This limit is £10,000 for Council Tax Support if you are working age.

Non-dependent deductions

Non-dependent deductions are taken if you have friends, relatives, or anyone else living in your home (other than your partner) who are over the age of 18. You may get less benefit as we expect them to contribute to the rent and council tax. The contribution will depend on their circumstances.

What we can and cannot help with

You cannot get help with some things included in your rent, however low your income. This includes charges for services like:

  • Alarm charges
  • Water and sewerage
  • Fuel for heating, lighting, and cooking
  • Meals
  • Personal care and nursing

The most Council Tax Support we can pay is 75% of your council tax if you are working age.

We will pay your Housing Benefit by BACS into a bank account four-weekly in arrears. Council Tax Support is paid straight to your council tax account.

Remember to tell us if anything is wrong, or you think your benefit has been worked out incorrectly, within one month of the letter.

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