Tenant's Toolkit

Tips: Housing Benefit

  • Always open any letters about your benefits
  • Keep all your letters and any other information associated with your claim in one folder, this makes it easy to access the information and also helps anyone who you talk to about your claim.
  • Once your benefit has been worked out, you will be sent a decision in writing about your benefit entitlement.  This is called a 'benefit decision notice'.
  • Read your letter carefully to check that the information is correct. Make contact straight away if any of the information is wrong or missing.
  • If you don’t understand or disagree the benefit decision notice, don’t worry. Much of the language used in the benefit letters is difficult to understand and you can ask for a further explanation (called a ‘statement of reasons'). If you disagree with the decision, you can ask for your application to be looked at again or make an appeal.
  • Take photographs of any evidence you send in to support your claim and also keep any receipts - to ensure there is no confusion.
  • Request copies of any documents you do not have or have lost since moving in.
  • If you situation changes in any way - a partner moves out, or you receive an overpayment etc - you must notify immediately. This communication is very important and will help with sorting out any changes to your benefit payment. This is important because the Council can, and often will, seek to recover overpayments for years afterwards.
  • The welfare benefit system can be complicated to understand. There are support agencies that can help you, such as Citizens Advice Bromley.