Housing Benefit and Council Tax Support

Find out if you are eligible for housing benefit and council tax support and how to apply. Details of Local Housing Allowance and how to appeal decisions.

New SMS text messaging service

The council (including Council Tax, Benefits, Business Rates and Debt Recovery teams) are now using SMS text messages to provide you with information about our services. Please note that these are only used in some cases and you should not rely on us sending you a text message to update you about your account.

If we already have your mobile number in our system you will be signed up for the service automatically. If we don’t have your mobile number or your number has changed recently and you would like to receive SMS texts please send an email to benefits@northlincs.gov.uk

If you would like to opt-out of receiving SMS text messages for Council Tax please email benefits@northlincs.gov.uk to confirm that you do not wish to receive information from us by SMS text message. You will need to give your account number, name and address so we can update your account accordingly.

The SMS text messages are sent by North Lincolnshire Council, and will show as “NL Council”. The sending of messages is a confidential service, your mobile number will not be shared with third parties and we will not send you any other marketing messages to your phone.

Council Tax and Housing Benefit support available

Complete and submit the online form and provide the evidence requested.

It can take up to 30 days for us to deal with your new claim or change in circumstance.  We will write to you to tell you about the decision once it has been made. Please do not contact us to check on the progress of your claim unless it has been 30 days since you completed the form.

What information will I need to apply?

When completing the online form you will be asked for:

  • Your national insurance number
  • Details of any savings and investments
  • Details about any earnings, benefits or other income
  • Details about money you pay out

If you live in rented accommodated your housing costs may be funded by Universal Credit, so please read the information contained on the  Government website. If you wish to apply for support towards your Council Tax please also complete the Housing Benefit and Council Tax Reduction/Support application form.

If you are working age you can only make a NEW claim for Housing Benefit if you meet certain criteria;

  • Live in supported accommodation where the landlord provides support
  • Live in temporary accommodation

If you are pension age you should make a claim for Housing Benefit.

If you are unsure please check with us by calling 0300 3030164 because if you do not claim the correct benefit you may lose money.

The housing benefit and Council Tax Support schemes help people on a low income to pay their rent and Council Tax. Anyone can claim whether they work, or receive state benefits, such as:

  • Income support
  • Jobseeker’s allowance
  • Pension credit
  • Incapacity benefit
  • Employment support allowance
  • Statutory sick pay
  • Maternity pay
  • Retirement pension
  • Universal credit (only council tax support can be claimed)

You can apply online 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It is the fastest way to get your claim for housing benefit or council tax support started.

You can also tell us online about any changes that could affect your eligibility.

Am I eligible?

The amount you can get depends on who lives with you, your total income, any savings you have and, if you live in private rented accommodation, the number of rooms your family require. You can get an estimate of your entitlement to housing benefit and council tax support using our calculator.

We make regular payments of Housing Benefit to landlords and Housing Benefit claimants by BACS payment. We make these every four weeks for a landlord, and every two or four weeks for a claimant.

If you rent from a registered social landlord (for example Ongo Homes Ltd or Guinness Northern Counties) you can choose to have your payments made to you or your landlord.

If you choose to have your Housing Benefit paid to you, we pay you by BACS.

If you rent from a private landlord and we work out your claim under the Local Housing Allowance rules, we will usually pay your Housing Benefit directly into your bank account.

If you do not have a bank account, we may pay your Housing Benefit to your landlord for a short time until you open one.

If you are likely to have difficulty paying your rent you can ask us to pay your Housing Benefit direct to your landlord. Please visit our direct payment to your landlord page to find out more.

Council Tax

We calculate your Council Tax and then, if you are entitled to a Council Tax Support, we apply the discount to your account.

Instead of making payments to you, we issue you with a Council Tax bill showing the discount and how much Council Tax you still need to pay after the discount has been applied.

If you think your Council Tax Support is wrong, please contact the Benefits Section benefits@northlincs.gov.uk or call  0300 3030164

To find out more, visit our Council Tax Support Scheme page.

What is BACs

BACS (Bankers’ Automated Clearing Services) is a direct transfer from our bank account into your bank account.

Using BACS allows us to pay your benefit directly into your bank account quickly and securely.  It is our preferred method of payment.

If you pay Council Tax for your home and you are on welfare benefits or a low income, you may be able to claim a reduction in your Council Tax.

There are two types of help available to people paying Council Tax:

Council Tax Support

Council Tax Benefit was abolished on 31 March 2013. It was replaced by the local Council Tax Support Scheme on 1 April 2013 because of welfare reforms made by central Government. We work it out based on your circumstances. To find out more, visit our Council Tax Support Scheme page.

Second Adult Rebate

We calculate this based on the circumstances of the other adults who live with you. You can claim Second Adult Rebate if you are of pension age and the only person who has to pay Council Tax for your home and you have other adults, such as older children, living with you.

To make an online application please visit our Housing Benefit and Council Tax Support page.

Access your Council Tax account online

This is available 24 hours a day giving you more control.  You can make a payment, see your balance, check your adjustments, apply for benefit, discounts and exemptions.  Simply visit www.northlincs.gov.uk, click on  My Account button and follow the instructions on screen.

We look at how much rent you are being charged by the housing association or registered social landlord (for example, Ongo or Guinness Northern Counties). Then we subtract anything that is included, for example water rates or heating charges.

This gives us the maximum amount of Housing Benefit you can receive.

Further information is available on our page; If I am renting from a housing association

Housing Benefit or Council Tax support can usually be backdated for up to one month if you can prove ‘good cause’. This could include:

if you did not understand that you could claim for some good reason, such as a language difficulties
if an official organisation wrongly told you that you were not entitled to Housing Benefit or Council Tax Support

If you have reached the qualifying age for State Pension Credit you do not have to show good cause, and we can backdate your claim for up to three months, as long as you qualify for the whole of that time.

What should I do?

Make sure you fill in our online claim form for the period you are claiming for and give us all of the supporting evidence we ask for as soon as possible.

What happens next?

We will decide whether we consider your reasons are good enough to backdate your benefit. We will write to you and tell you our decision.

If we decide not to backdate your benefit, we will tell you why.

Can I appeal?

If you do not agree with our decision, you can ask us to look at it again or you can appeal against it. You must write to us within one month of getting our decision. Your letter should say why you are not satisfied.

Current rates

If you rent your home from a private landlord your housing benefit will be calculated on the local housing allowance (LHA) rate appropriate to your household size and the area of North Lincolnshire you live in.

The LHA rate will be the maximum amount of housing benefit you will be eligible to receive based on the number of bedrooms your household needs. This is not the amount of benefit you may receive as housing benefit is means tested.

The LHA is set annually each April by the Valuation Office Agency.

Check your LHA rate on the GOV.UK website

Underpayments and appeals

If you think your Housing Benefit or Council Tax Support calculation is wrong, please let us know as soon as possible. Please have your notification letter with you when you appeal.


To avoid overpayments, please always inform us of a change in your circumstances and check your notification letter carefully. Contact us as soon as possible if you think there is an error. We may allow you to pay in instalments.

Further information and FAQs are available on our Benefit Overpayment page.

Rules relating to the spare room subsidy, often referred to as the ‘bedroom tax’, were updated in 2013. For the latest details please visit the spare room subsidy pages on Gov.uk

You must tell us if anything changes that could affect your eligibility for housing benefit or council tax support. Further information is on our change of circumstances page. You can also use our change of circumstances online form:

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) is responsible for investigating housing benefit fraud.

If you think someone is committing housing benefit fraud, you can report it online to the DWP:

The council is responsible for investigating all other suspicions of fraud, irregularity and misuse. You can report all other types of suspected fraud to the council.



0300 3030164

Or write to:

North Lincolnshire Council
Church Square House
30-40 High Street
DN15 6NL