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Housing Benefit and Council Tax Support

MyBenefits has changed - we have introduced more online options for applying for and managing your benefit claims using the links below. If you previously had a MyBenefits account, these changes mean that for the majority of online services, you no longer need an account. However, if you want to see your Council Tax Support or Housing Benefit entitlements, you simply need to sign up for an online Council Tax account where you will see all the details of how your claim has been assessed.

COVID-19 - if you are experiencing financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, please go to our financial help for residents page.  

Housing Benefit and Council Tax Support are two benefits managed by Bedford Borough Council that can help you pay your rent and Council Tax. 

We have introduced more online options for applying for and managing your benefit claims. 

Housing Benefit

Housing Benefit can help you pay your rent if you are unemployed, on a low income or claiming benefits. For people of working age, Housing Benefit is being replaced by Universal Credit which  is managed by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). For details of how your claim will be assessed go to GOV.UK.

However, you can still claim Housing Benefit if you:

  • live in 'supported exemption accommodation' which is generally a hostel or sheltered accommodation.
  • are of State Pension age (if you are a couple, it is the youngest partner's age that determines which benefit you can claim)

If you are already on Housing Benefit, you will remain on that benefit until your circumstances change and you then claim Universal Credit. 

Make a claim for Housing Benefit 

Council Tax Support 

Council Tax Support (sometimes called Council Tax Reduction) is a scheme offered by all Councils to reduce the amount of Council Tax due, on the basis of low income. Council Tax Support can reduce your Council Tax bill by up to 100%, depending on your circumstances. 

For people of pension age, there are rules (set by Central Government) which restrict entitlement to Council Tax Support if your savings are over £16,000 or your income is too high.

For people of working age (below state pension age), the rules for Council Tax Support are set by the Council. You will not get any Council Tax Support if have savings of more than £8,000 or if other adults (not your partner) in your household earn more than £350 per week.

If you're part of a couple and one of you is a pensioner and the other is not, you will generally be treated as working age.

Make a claim for Council Tax support

Tell us about a change in your circumstances

If you receive Housing Benefit or Council Tax Support, you must tell us straight away if any of the details you have told us in the original application have changed as it could affect your entitlement.

You can now tell us about changes in your circumstances online, such as:  

  • a change of address
  • a change in your income, saving or capital (for example a second home)  
  • a change in your household (if someone moves in or out or if you have a baby)
  • an increase or decrease in your rent 

If in doubt, tell us anyway. Failure to report a change in circumstances could lead to prosecution and will mean you are liable to pay back any benefit that has been overpaid.  

Tell us about a change in your circumstances 

Upload a document online

You may be required to provide evidence of anything you tell us; we may have written to you asking you to provide evidence.

You can now upload documents relating to your benefit claim online. You will need to provide your claim reference and your National Insurance number. 

Upload a document online 

Help with calculating or applying for benefits

Entitled to is a free, online benefits calculator that can help you to find out what benefits you can get.

Citizens Advice Bedford provides help with making a new Universal Credit claim, find them at St Paul's Square, Bedford or use their handy Universal Credit guide.

You can also contact Customer Services for further help.