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The current processing time for new applications and changes to benefit claims is an average of 6 weeks. If you contact us with a general enquiry online we will reply to you within two working days.

You can apply for Housing Benefit and/or Council Tax Support if you are working for someone else or self-employed. The amount you get depends on how much your rent is, whether you rent privately or from a social landlord, and your household income and circumstance.

If you are employed

We need to see proof of all earnings for you and your partner, if you have one.

You need to provide:

  • The last five payslips, if paid weekly
  • The last three payslips if paid fortnightly
  • The last two payslips, if paid monthly or four weekly

If you do not have payslips or they are handwritten please ask your employer to complete an employed earnings form.

Earnings Certificate
Employers should complete this certificate if their employee has applied for housing benefit or council tax support

If you have just started work, you will need to ask your employer to provide us with a contract of employment or details of your likely gross earnings, tax and National Insurance deductions and any pension you will pay. When you receive pay slips, you should give them to us and we will review your claim.

We need to see your last years trading accounts for all businesses you have and a completed self-employed earnings form.

If you don’t have accounts then you need to keep an accurate record of your business income and expenses and complete a self-employed earning form.

  Self-employed Earnings Form

A new business

You need to complete a self-employed earnings form giving details of what you expect the income and expenses to be for the first three months of trading. 

How are self-employed earnings calculated?

We need to work out your gross average weekly income from your business. We do not allow some expenses and we will add back in any personal drawings you take from the business.

Changes to your business

You must tell us about changes which will have an effect on the income of your business. Things like:

  • A change from full-time to part-time
  • The loss of a major customer
  • Your business is affected by seasonal work

If you are a self-employed childminder, we will work out your gross self-employed earnings using one-third of your gross income.

If you are thinking of going self-employed you can access more advice and information from Directgov: Self-employment  Opens in a new window

We use the gross amount you earn and take off what you pay for tax and National insurance, and 50 percent of any pension you pay.

We can also take off a set amount from your earnings every week:

  • £5 if you are single
  • £10 if you are a couple
  • £20 if you are disabled or a carer
  • £25 if you are a single parent

If you pay for childcare we can reduce the amount of the earnings we use in your claim. This can be up to £175 for one child or £300 for two or more children each week. There are certain circumstances that must be met to use reduced earnings.

The child must be under 15 years old or under 16 if disabled.

Single parents must either:

  • Work 16 hours or more a week
  • Be on maternity leave and receiving statutory maternity pay or maternity allowance

Couples must either:

  • Both work 16 hours or more a week
  • One works 16 hours or more a week and the other is disabled, blind or is on maternity leave and receiving statutory ,maternity pay or maternity allowance

The childcare must be provided by:

  • A registered childminder
  • A childminding scheme where registration is not required (e.g. run by a school or LA)
  • Any other out of hours scheme provided by a school on school premises or by a local authority - in this case only, the child must be aged 8 or more

The amount we can reduce your earnings by is up to a maximum of:

  • £175.00 per week per HB or CTS claim for claimants with one child or
  • £300.00 per week per HB or CTS claim for claimants with two or more children

We will need proof of the childcare you pay, please ask the childcare provider to complete a childcare payment form.

Childcare Payment Form
This form must be completely by registered childminders.