Benefit advice

Your Benefits Team is happy to provide advice and help concerning claiming and receiving Housing Benefit, Council Tax Support and Discretionary awards.

Note however that the world of benefits is changing and for working age claimants Universal Credit will gradually replace Housing Benefit. Please see below for some general advice. 

Important news - Universal Credit comes to the Derbyshire Dales

Universal Credit Full Service has 'rolled out' for working age claimants. This means that anyone claiming for help with their rent has to claim through Universal Credit payable by Jobcentre Plus. Contact Matlock Jobcentre for further information.

This means:

  • that if you are of working age (not a pensioner), we won’t be able to accept new claims for Housing Benefit and instead you will instead have to claim Universal Credit (UC) and, 
  • Receive help towards your rent and living expenses within the UC payments made to you by Jobcentre Plus.  

Note, that you MUST still claim help towards the council tax on your home by claiming Council Tax Support with the Council.

In summary, Universal Credit is a 'benefit 'for working age people and includes help towards housing costs.

Pensioners remain unaffected by Universal Credit changes and can continue to claim Housing Benefit with the Council.

Persons living in supported accommodation can continue to claim Housing benefit as can claimants who have been told by Jobcentre Plus offices that you cannot claim Universal Credit.

What is Housing Benefit (HB)?

HB is help towards the payment of rent on your home where you are on a low income. You must be living at the address being claimed for and must pay rent for your home to either to a private landlord or to a Housing Association e.g. Platform Housing Group.

Housing Benefit is a means tested benefit which means that your personal and financial circumstances will determine how much help we can give you.

The Department for Work & Pensions will gradually transfer working age customer from their existing benefit entitlements to Universal Credit over the coming years. No new claims for Housing Benefit are allowed unless you fit an exemption group or are elderly. Contact your Benefits Team for further clarification.

Pensioners can continue to claim Housing Benefit and are not affected by Universal Credit changes.

We may be able to award Discretionary Housing Payment if you need extra help with your housing costs.

What is Council Tax Support (CTS)?

Council Tax Support Scheme acts like a benefit to reduce the council tax that you have to pay on your home. It is a means tested entitlement and is credited to your council tax bill reducing the payments that you are asked to pay in year.

If you and/or your partner have more than £16,000 in savings and investments you cannot claim for HB and CTB (unless you are getting the Pension Credit Guaranteed Credit).

How do I claim Housing Benefit or Council Tax Support?

  • By completing an on-line application form elsewhere on the Council's website;
  • Printing off and completing a claim form and then returning the form to the Town Hall - see the PDF forms held elsewhere on the Council's website;
  • or by contacting the Benefits Team and asking for a claim form to be sent out to you by post.
  • If you require any further information then please contact our Benefits Section by email: benefits@derbyshiredales.gov.uk, or by telephone on 01629 818222 (option 2).

Data Protection

Derbyshire Dales District Council in partnership with Chesterfield Borough Council will process your personal data for the administration of Housing Benefit, Local Housing Allowance, Discretionary awards and Council Tax Support. Your information will also be used to recover any over-payments made to you or your landlord.

Your personal data may be passed to other organisations when there is a legal basis or obligation to do so, e.g. the prevention and detection of fraud.

The council and its partners will ensure your data is handled securely in line with data protection law/legislation. Further details of how we process your personal data and your rights as a data subject can be found on our website at www.derbyshiredales.gov.uk/your-council/data-information