How to make a benefits claim

How to apply for help

There are different ways to claim housing benefit or council tax support, but we deal with the assessment of all claims.

You can make a claim:

  • When you claim Income Support, Jobseeker's Allowance or Employment and Support Allowance through the Jobcentre Plus,
  • When you claim Pension Credit through the Pension Service,
  • By completing a Selby District Council claim form; or
  • By completing the online benefits claim form.

If you apply for housing benefit you do not have to make a separate claim for council tax support.

Returning the forms

You should return forms immediately as any delay could result in loss of benefit. You may also have to provide evidence of all your circumstances (see below).

If you haven't got all the evidence we need you should still return the form to us telling us what evidence will be sent on later.

Evidence you need to give us

All evidence you give us must be original documents. We cannot accept copies.

If you are not sure what evidence to provide please refer to the guidance below or ask us for help. This does not cover everything and it is your responsibility to ensure we know about all of your circumstances that might affect your benefit.

Pension credit claimants

If you claim a Pension Credit and claim housing benefit and/or council tax benefit at the same time, we will be able to calculate your benefit based on the information the Pensions Service gives us. This will include details about your income and capital.

This means that you will not have to provide the same documentary evidence twice. You may however have to give us documentary evidence of other circumstances, which the Pensions Service have not collected. For example we will need to see evidence of your rent agreement if you pay rent to a private landlord.

You must provide original documentary evidence of the following:

Identity

It is important that we can be sure of your identity when you make a claim. We may need to ask you about your background and look at official documents you have to support the information you give us.

We will ask for two forms of identification from you and you need to make sure that you can provide these when you make your claim. Forms of identification include:

  • birth certificate
  • UK residence permit
  • letter from social worker/inland revenue/solicitor/probation office
  • passport (current and valid)
  • bank statements(dated within the last four weeks)
  • medical card
  • driving licence
  • wage slips (current)
  • marriage certificate
  • current paid utility bill in your name and address
  • national insurance number card

National Insurance Number

We cannot pay benefit without a National Insurance Number for you and your partner. If you or your partner do not have a National Insurance Number or cannot tell us what it is, please ask us for help. We can give you advice on how you can find your National Insurance Number.

Income

We need evidence of all money you have coming in. The details below show you what we need in different circumstances before we can pay you any benefit.

Wages

If you are employed we need either five consecutive weekly wage slips or two consecutive monthly wage slips. If you cannot provide these then you could ask your employer to complete the tear off certificate at the back of the application form and return it to us.

Self employed

We will need to see your self employed accounts if you have been trading for more than a year. If accounts are not available then you will have to complete our form for the self employed (please ask for a copy) and provide evidence in the form of books of account, bank statements etc

State pensions or private pensions

If you receive a private pension we will need to see the remittance slip or bank statement showing payments being paid in.

If you receive state retirement pension we will need to see your original award letter.

State benefits and/or tax credits

All pages of any state benefit or tax credit award letter.

Although child benefit is no longer taken into account as income, we do need to see who you get child benefit for as this can affect who we take into account as your household on your claim.

Savings

We must see evidence of your capital, savings and investments if:

  • You are of pension age and the total is over £10,000; or
  • You are under pension age and the total is over £6,000.

In certain circumstances we may ask to see evidence when the total is below these amounts.

The type of documents we need to see are:

  • bank, building society and post office statements or passbooks
  • share certificates
  • premium bond certificates
  • ISA statements
  • PEP statements
  • national savings certificates
  • stocks and unit trust statements

We will need to see the last two months full bank statements.

Other savings/capital

If you own land or property you must tell us. We will require a valuation, which we may be able to do for you.

We will also need documentary evidence of any other capital, savings or investments you have.

If you pay rent

The documents we will need include:

  • tenancy agreement
  • rent book, or
  • a letter from your landlord detailing the agreement

You will need to give us original documents that show:

  • name and address of the landlord
  • name and address of the managing agent (if appropriate)
  • date the agreement started
  • amount payable
  • what is included in the agreement (what are you liable to pay and what you get in return), and
  • how often you pay your rent eg, weekly, 4 weekly, calendar monthly