Toggle menu

Housing Benefit and Council Tax Support

If you're on a low income you may be entitled to claim Housing Benefit or Council Tax Support.

Universal Credit replaces housing and other benefits. You'll need to apply for Universal Credit instead of Housing Benefit, if you're of working age and are looking for financial help for your rent. If you fall into a group that needs to claim housing costs through Universal Credit, you can apply for Universal Credit on GOV.UK. You'll need to make a separate claim to us for Council Tax Support.

Housing Benefit can pay for all or part of your rent. The amount you will get will depend on your income and personal circumstances.

Council Tax Support  is a reduction in your Council Tax bill, based on your income and personal circumstances.


Council Tax Support eligibility

Whether you are entitled to Council Tax Support depends on:

  • our local Council Tax Support scheme
  • who is in your household
  • your circumstances
  • your income and capital.

Please use the online Council Tax Support calculator (opens new window) to see if you could be entitled to Council Tax Support. 

Claim Housing Benefit and Council Tax Support

You can make a claim for Housing Benefit and Council Tax Support Online

Please note that if you are claiming Council Tax Support only, you can upload the evidence required in support of your claim at the point that you submit the claim online. If you are claiming Housing Benefit, we will need to verify the original documents, so please do not submit the evidence required in support of your claim online. You will need  to make alternative arrangements to supply us with them.

We aim to process your claim as quickly as possible. The quicker you provide all the information we need, the quicker you'll receive your money. 

To find out if you are entitled to any other benefits please use the Benefit calculator SHDC. If you need more information or have any questions about benefit claims, please contact us.

Please note our  data collection notice (PDF) [247KB] (opens new window) , as this details our policy on electronic data collection in relation to Housing Benefit and Council Tax Support claims.

Backdating Housing Benefit or Council Tax Support claims

If there's good reason which has stopped or delayed you applying for Housing Benefit or Council Tax Support, you can ask for your application to be backdated.

  • For working age customers (under the qualifying age for State Pension):
    We can backdate your claim for up to one month before the date of your backdate request. You must have good reasons for not claiming sooner. The good reasons must last throughout the whole period that you are asking your application to be backdated for.
  • For Pension Age customers (those who have reached the qualifying age for State Pension):
    We can sometimes start your claim for up to three months before the date we received your application. You don't have to request this and don't have to give us reasons.

View your benefit claim online

You can login to your Self Serve Account (opens new window) to see:

  • the amount of benefit you're getting
  • how we've worked this out
  • when your next payment will be made
  • the dates and amounts of payments already made
  • letters we've sent you
  • overpayments that have been billed to you.


Discretionary Housing Payments

What is a Discretionary Housing Payment? (DHP)

A Discretionary Housing Payment can provide extra money to help you meet your housing costs.

Funding for DHPs comes from central government and is limited each year, so when it has been spent no more awards can be made.

Payments are short term and we will need to know that you are looking for help to manage your money and prioritise your rent.

If you are eligible, we will look to decide whether to award a payment, how much you can get, and for how long.

We will take into account any special circumstances that contribute to your financial difficulties. For example, if:

  • You have to pay child maintenance.
  • You have to pay legal costs.
  • Your heating costs are high as you spend a lot of time at home.
  • You are likely to become homeless.
  • You have additional travel costs because you have to travel to a Dr or hospital or care for a relative or friend.

Who can claim a Discretionary Housing Payment?

Anyone who needs financial help with housing costs and is currently claiming either:

  • Housing Benefit or
  • Universal Credit that includes an award for housing costs

What can I use a Discretionary Housing Payment to pay for?

  • Rent deposits.
  • Rent in advance.
  • Moving costs.
  • Rent arrears (but not if you were receiving enough housing benefit to pay all of your rent at the time the arrears built up).
  • A shortfall between housing benefit and rent or housing costs included in Universal Credit and rent.

How do I make a claim?

Discretionary Housing Payments can be applied for directly from us.

Download the form below, in the related documents section below.

  View our Discretionary Housing Payment Policy for 2020/21 (PDF) [246KB] (opens new window) .

To apply for a DHP, please print and complete a  Discretionary Housing Payment application form (PDF) [216KB] (opens new window)  and return the form to the address below. Alternatively, please contact us to request a form be posted out to you. 

  • Benefits Services, South Holland District Council, PO Box 8, Spalding, Lincolnshire, PE11 2XQ

This authority is under a duty to protect the public funds it administers, and to this end may use the information you provide for the prevention and detection of fraud. It may also share this information with other bodies responsible for auditing or administering public funds for these purposes. View our National Fraud Initiative web page