Housing Benefit

You may be entitled to Housing Benefit if you are on a low income and need help to pay your rent and service charges. Please ask your Housing Officer if you need to know more.

Housing Benefit will not help you to pay the cost of gas, electricity, water and telephone services you use in home. If you think you may be entitled to help with your rent and have not made a claim for Housing Benefit, you should do so immediately. Remember it is your responsibility to make sure you complete your Housing Benefit claim form in full and on time. We will help you to fill in a Housing Benefit Claim form if you require assistance.

How do I apply for Housing Benefit?

STEP1 Complete a housing benefit claim form - available from Forth’s office or local council offices

STEP 2 Provide the right information – evidence of identity, income, savings and rent. Original documents must be provided as photocopies cannot be accepted.

STEP 3 Hand in your claim and all evidence - to Customer Services, Viewforth, Stirling


Evidence required:-

Identity
• Passport
• Birth certificate
• Driving licence
• Marriage certificate
• Utility bill
• Recent bank statement
• Divorce papers
• UK residence permit
• Benefit award letter
• Wage slip from current employer

National insurance
• P45
• P60
• Wage slip from current employer
• Tax letter
• NI number card

Income
• An award letter for each benefit in payment
• Last 5 weekly pay slips
• Last 2 monthly wage slips
• Annual accounts if self employed

If you think you could have received Housing Benefit during the last year and have a good reason for not being able to claim it earlier, you may be able to get your benefit backdated. Good reasons for not claiming previously may include: hospitalisation, severe health problems or family bereavement. Unfortunately, saying that you didn’t know you could claim will normally not be considered as a good reason.

To make a backdated claim, you will need to write, stating the date you want claim backdated to. You will also need to explain why you were not able to claim at an earlier stage and enclose any supporting evidence (eg a letter from your doctor or social worker).

If the backdate is refused, you can appeal the decision within one month of receiving notification of refusal. If the appeal is refused, you can ask the council to refer your claim to the appeals service who will arrange a tribunal hearing.

Any changes in your income or anyone living at your tenancy should be notified to Customer Services at Stirling Council. If you do not report changes, you could loose out on benefit or face a large bill when Housing Benefit later find out you were paid too much. In some cases Housing Benefit will raise fraud action, if they feel that you deliberately failed to inform them of something. 

The amount of Housing Benefit you get depends on your income. You may get all your rent paid in full, some of it paid, or you may have to pay it all yourself. If you get some help with your rent you must make sure that you pay the rest in full. The Housing Benefit Section of the Council, a Welfare Benefits Advisor at the Citizens Advice Bureau or the Association's Money Advisor can give you advice and information about housing and other benefits.

If you have been in receipt of the same benefit, for example income support, jobseekers allowance, incapacity benefit for a period of 26 weeks and you are due to commence employment you may be entitled to continue getting housing benefit at the same rate for a period of 28 days, after your new job begins. You must let Housing Benefit know immediately of this change by notifying Customer Services at Stirling Council.

Click here for a letter requesting a 4 week Housing Benefit continuation.

Contacts:

Tracy Doran
Income Maximsation Officer
Forth Housing Association
17-21 Maxwell Place
Stirling FK8 1NQ
Tel:01786 446066

Stirling Council
Customer Services
Viewforth
18-20 Pitt Terrace
Stirling FK8 2WZ
Tel:01786 443210