You can claim housing benefit and council tax reduction if you are working, unemployed or retired but you must be on a low income. How much you get will depend on your income and savings (plus your partner's if you have one). It will also depend on who else lives with you and what their ages and incomes are.
If you are of working age council tax reduction will not cover the first 17% of your council tax liability regardless of your income or circumstance.
You can claim
- housing benefit if you are paying rent on your home
- council tax reduction if you are the person paying the council tax on your home or if you are a homeowner
You can't claim
- housing benefit and council tax reduction if you have more than £16,000 in total savings, stocks and shares or other capital, unless you receive guarantee pension credit. Any savings over £6,000 will affect the way your claim is calculated dependent on whether you are under or over pension credit age
- housing benefit if you make mortgage payments for your home
- however, if you are having problems paying your mortgage the Department for Work and Pensions may be able to help, tel 0845 600 6334
- you will still be able to claim council tax reduction if you are liable to pay the council tax
- housing benefit (from 29 March 2017) if you live in the following postcodes: E1 6, EC2A 2, EC2A 3, EC2A 4, EC2M 1 and EC2M 2. Instead you must claim Universal Credit. Universal Credit is a single benefit that combines help with both living and housing costs into a single monthly payment:
- Apply for Universal Credit
- you can still ask the Council for help with your council tax
Some other groups of people don't qualify for benefit such as most full-time students or asylum seekers.
Calculate your benefit and make a claim
The calculator will only give you an estimate of your potential benefit. An accurate decision can only be made after we have received your application and documentation.
For support applying online please tel 020 8356 3399.
Benefit claim FAQs and queries
Read our FAQs about housing benefit and council tax reduction or submit a query:
If you apply for housing benefit or council tax reduction we can share information collected as part of your application with other council departments, other local authorities, the Department for Work and Pensions and, in some circumstances, your landlord and other organisations. For more details, read our privacy notice: