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Benefits

 

Frequently Asked Questions

 

How long will it take to assess my benefit entitlement?

How long it takes to work out your claim depends on how quickly you send in all the information and how busy we are when you make your claim.

If you are making a new claim for benefit our aim to assess your entitlement within 24 days, sooner if you supply all the supporting evidence.

If you have notified us of a change in your circumstances, our aim is to amend your benefit claim within 1 calendar month.

If you disagree with our decision and have asked us to look at it again, we will respond within 28 days.
 

How much Housing/Council Tax Support will I qualify for?

  • Any Housing/Council Tax Support claim is assessed on individual circumstances.
  • For a trial calculation please contact us direct or go into any of the Customer Service Centres where staff will calculate any possible entitlement to Housing/Council Tax Support
  • Alternatively, complete and return a benefit application form and notification of your entitlement (if any) will be sent to you in writing, as soon as possible.
 

What is the criteria for claiming backdated benefit and how do I make a claim?

  • Housing Benefit can only be backdated for a maximum of 1 month from the date of claim for working age claimants and 3 months for people of state pension age.
  • Reasons for backdate must show "good cause".
  • A backdate request must be made in writing on either the benefit application form or in a letter, clearly stating the reasons why you want your benefit backdating.
  • There is no provision within Tameside’s Council Tax Support Scheme for backdating
 

How can I report fraud - What will the council do about it?

  • Call into any Customer Service Centre or telephone the benefits office with details of any suspected fraud.
  • There is a fraud hotline. It's a freephone number 0800 328 6340. Any information given will be treated in the strictest of confidence.
  • If you decide to report a fraud please give as much information as possible - you can remain anonymous.
  • Examples of information we will need to investigate fraud include;
    name and address
    Type of fraud
    If working, do you know who they work for?
    What time of day does the person leave for work?
    Do they have a company car/van?
 

Why has my Housing/Council Tax Support changed?

There are a number of reasons why this may have happened:

  • Have you had a change in your circumstances? For example, income, rent, people moving in/out of your household, children reaching the age of 16 or eighteen?
  • You recently submitted a new application form.
  • Your benefit may have ended and you need to fill in a new application form. nb, Reminders are dispatched prior to benefit expiry.
  • You have been overpaid and your benefit is reduced to pay the overpayment.
 

How will I be notified if I am entitled to any Housing Benefit or Council Tax Support?

  • Once all the information has been received to assess any entitlement you have, your claim is calculated and a notification letter produced. This letter will be sent to you in the post giving details of the amount of benefit you are entitled to and a breakdown of how it is calculated.
  • If you lose or misplace your notification letter you may request a duplicate letter by contacting us (details below).  Please provide your name, address and Council Tax or Housing Benefit number together with the date from which you need confirmation of entitlement.
 

Find out more information about Council Tax Support
 

How do I know what rent will be paid on the property I am thinking of renting?

  • If your landlord is a Housing Association or New Charter Housing Trust the rent they are charging should be considered as reasonable.
  • If you are interested in renting from a private landlord, you can check the Local Housing Allowance amount to see if the rent charged for the property is reasonable or not, and deemed to be the correct size for your needs before deciding whether or not to take the tenancy.
 

How has my Housing Benefit been worked out?

  • We calculate 1) Your Income - less any disregards (an amount of money the government says does not have to be used in the benefit calculation) and 2) your applicable amount - this is the minimum the government say you can live on.
  • The applicable amount is the deducted from the Income. If the customers income is less than their applicable amount then they are entitled to full Housing Benefit (dependant on the Local Housing Allowance if a private tenant).
  • If there is excess income (money left over after the applicable amount is deducted from the income) a taper is used to calculate the amount of Housing Benefit you may be entitled to.
  • The taper works as follows; Calculate 65% of the excess income for Housing benefit and deduct this amount from the rent in order to calculate the entitlement.
  • If there are any non-dependants (people aged over 18 years of age excluding claimant/partner/joint tenants or owners) in the household, we will deduct a charge for them.
 

Sample Calculations -

1. Single claimant on Income Support/Job Seekers Allowance (Income Based)

A single claimant has no non-dependants, she lives alone. Her eligible rent is £55.00 per week.

Claimants on Income support or JSA(IB) get maximum benefit - which is based on their eligible rent;
 

Housing Benefit:

Eligible Rent = Eligible Housing £55 per week

2. Couple not on Income Support/Job seekers Allowance

A couple have no non-dependants. They are not on Income Support or JSA(IB). Their joint weekly income exceeds their applicable amount by £20.00. Their eligible rent is £50.00 per week.

Claimants with excess income get maximum benefit minus a percentage of their excess income;
 

Housing Benefit:

Eligible Rent = £50.00
Minus 65% Of Excess Income (65% X £20.00) = £13.00
Equals Weekly Housing Benefit = £37.00

Further information on benefits is available at the Department for Work and Pensions Website Link to External Website to visit.
 

How will I be paid

Housing Benefit is paid every four weeks, in most cases 4 weeks in arrears.

Housing Benefit is paid to the tenant unless circumstances allow Housing Benefit be paid to the landlord.

Payment is made by BACS directly into your bank account .

Council Tax Support will be paid straight to your Council Tax account. You will receive a bill showing any amount you have to pay after benefit has been awarded.
 

Benefit Application Forms

Use the online service for claiming Housing/Council Tax Support Link to External Website.

Contact Information
Contact by Post

Revenues Division
Exchequer
Services
PO Box 304
Ashton-under-Lyne
Tameside
OL6 0GA
Contact by Telephone
0161 342 3708
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