Housing Benefit

Frequently Asked Questions for this Service

Question: What benefit payments am I due to receive including when I will receive it, how much and by what method?

Answer: Your benefit decision notice will confirm the net benefit entitlement payable (after any overpayment recovery adjustments have been deducted), the method of payment and frequency of payments.

Whilst the notice indicates the first scheduled payment date, any arrears of benefits due can be paid through an interim payment before the scheduled date to bring the benefit payment up to date.

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Question: How long is a Discretionary Housing Payment awarded for?

Answer: DHP awards should generally be viewed as short-term emergency funds rather than ongoing top-up payments in addition to housing benefit entitlment as set out within the Housing Benefit legislation.

The housing benefit officer will usually award a DHP for 13 weeks. Repeat applications will only be considered in exceptional circumstances.





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Question: How can I report someone for Benefit Fraud?

Answer: As of 1 September 2015 the Department of Works and Pension (DWP) are responsible for investigation of Housing Benefit Fraud together with Social Security Benefits.
You can contact the DWP on their National Benefit Fraud Hotline 0800 854 440 or by post to NBFH, PO Box 224, PR1 1GP

Further information on how to report benefit fraud can be found on the Gov.uk website

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Question: Can you tell me why I or my tenant has rent arrears when in receipt of Housing Benefit?

Answer: There are a number of circumstances which may prevent a person from receiving support towards their rent, for example:

Their benefit may have been suspended following a change in circumstance
We may not be able to award them benefit to cover the full level of rent they are charged in accordance with legislation
Their benefit is usually paid in arrears whereas their rent liability may be payable in advance
They have a non-dependant deduction applied to their benefit and they have not paid the shortfall to their landlord
We are recovering an overpayment of housing benefit from their ongoing payments and they have not paid the shortfall to their landlord
A benefit application assessment is outstanding, which could be delayed pending further information/evidence being provided. - Related Link

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Question: Can I view my benefit entitlement online?

Answer: You can access your basic Housing Benefit details via the Isle of Wight Citizens Access Portal.

Please note - you will not be able to view your Housing Benefit details using the Citizens Access Portal without correctly inputting the following information:
•Full Name - your name as it appears exactly on your Housing Benefit notification letter.
•Your date of birth, National Insurance and claim number.
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Question: What do I do if I do not agree with the way my Housing Benefit claim has been assessed/the amount of Benefit you are giving me?

Answer: You need to write to the Revenues and Benefits Service, Council Offices, Broadway, Sandown, PO36 9EA. You must do this in writing within one month of the date of the decision stating why you disagree with the decision and what it is you believe is wrong. If you have any additional information that is relevant, please include this in your letter.

If you do not understand how we have reached the decision please write to us and ask for an explanation known as a Statement of Reason. Further advice can be obtained from the link below. - Related Link

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Question: How can I find out if I will be entitled to Housing Benefit and Local Council Tax Support?

Answer: You can access the web calculator on-line to obtain a rough indication of any benefit you may be entitled to prior to making a full application for benefit, see web link below. Please follow the instructions as you will need the relevant local housing allowance rate and details of any council tax liability before proceeding.

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Question: What is a Discretionary Housing Payment?

Answer: The Discretionary Housing Payment (DHP) scheme, covers shortfalls between rental liability and payment of housing benefit. - Related Link

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Question: Why have I been charged a penalty of £50?

Answer: Penalties of up to £50 may be imposed by the authority where changes are notified outside of the 30 day period to notify the authority of a change in circumstances. To report a change in circumstance you can either contact the council’s benefit department by telephone, email housing.benefit@iow.gov.uk or in writing to Council Offices, Broadway, Sandown, PO36 9EA



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Question: Why have I been overpaid benefit and what is the amount owing?

Answer: An overpayment is an amount of benefit which has been paid to you but to which there is no entitlement under the relevant rules. Overpayment of benefit can occur both in Housing Benefit and Local Council Tax Support.

Overpayments can occur due to many different factors. A typical reason is when your income increases for a past period which then reduces the level of Benefit awarded.

It is important that change in circumstances are reported as soon as possible and no longer than one calendar month to avoid any unnecessary overpayment occurring.

A letter detailing the period of overpayment, the amount overpaid and the reason for the overpayment will have been provided to you to explain this. The letter also provides you with your dispute and appeal rights. - Related Link

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Question: Am I entitled to Housing Benefit and or Local Council Tax Support?

Answer: Anyone who is on a low income can apply for benefit to help with the payment of their Rent and/or Council Tax. The amount of benefit you may be entitled to is calculated by looking at how much money you have coming in, your personal circumstances, how much rent and/or Council Tax you have to pay, and the amount of savings you have.

For Housing Benefit if you have more than £16,000 in savings we cannot usually pay you any benefit.
For Local Council Tax Support if you have more than £6,000 in savings we cannot usually pay you any benefit.

To get an indication you will need to use the online benefit calculator. - Related Link

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Question: When will my new claim or change in circumstance be processed?

Answer: On receipt of all the required information and evidence being provided to the office to support your claim, a benefit decision should be made within 14 days.

The quicker information is provided by the claimant, the sooner the benefit can be considered.

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Question: Why have I received a visit request asking me to contact the office to rearrange the visit?

Answer: The Benefits Service are required to review benefit claims periodically. This may involve a visit to a claimants address to run through and check that information held on their benefit claim remains correct.

Where a visit is unsuccessful and the visit cannot be re-arranged, this could lead to the benefit being suspended, which may affect a persons ability to pay their rent and or Council Tax.

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Question: What are the levels of Local Housing Allowance for the Island?

Answer: For more information about Local Housing Allowance, please visit the link below: - Related Link

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Question: How can I have Housing Benefit paid into my Bank Account?

Answer: You will need to inform the Benefits Service by email to housing.benefit@iow.gov.uk or alternatively write to us at: Revenues and Benefits Service, Council Offices, Broadway, Sandown, PO36 9EA. You should include the benefit claim reference number, the name(s) the bank account is in, account number and sort code number.

For further information please see link below. - Related Link

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Question: How do I claim Housing Benefit and or Local Council Tax Support?

Answer: You can apply for Housing and or Local Council Tax Support by completing an online application form via the link below.

If you intend to claim a primary benefit from the Department for Works and Pension (DWP) you can inform them that you wish to apply for Housing Benefit and Local Council Tax Support. This should generate an application form to be sent electronically from the DWP to the Housing Benefit Office.


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Question: Where can I get assistance with completing an on-line benefit application?

Answer: Initially we would ask you to seek assistance from a relative, friend, neighbour, landlord or support worker if you have one. Assistance may also be provided by some welfare agencies by prior appointment.

Where this is not possible, you may need to visit Newport or Ryde Help Centre where some guidance can be provided with the use of the self-service application form. - Related Link

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Question: Can you explain the benefit decision notice calculation sheet that I have received?

Answer: The notice letters that you have received usually contain a decision notice and a statement of reason. This must be checked to ensure that the information used in the assessment is correct and any discrepancies notified to the office.

The contents of the letter will confirm the amount of benefit awarded, the start date, the financial details, any capital, non-dependant deductions, appropriate rent level and or council tax liability used to make an assessment and the 'applicable amount' (to reflect the basic living needs of the claimant and family as set by the government).

The regulations used to determine a benefit award can be quite complex and varied depending on an individuals circumstances. If you are unsure or require clarification on how an award has been made, in the first instance you may need to speak to the Benefit team who will try to assist you.

Information about the calculation of Housing Benefits and Local Council Tax Support is available from the web link below. - Related Link

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Question: I am moving address soon, what do I do?

Answer: You will need to inform the Benefits Service as soon as possible. You can contact the service to inform them of your new address by emailing housing.benefit@iow.gov.uk however you will also need to complete the change of address form available on the web link below. You will also be required to supply proof of your tenancy agreement for your new address if you wish to claim further Housing Benefit.

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Question: My rent has increased what do I do?

Answer: If your Landlord is Southern Housing Group, Sovereign Housing Association or Vectis Housing Association and it is the annual rent increase, you do not need to notify us as the Housing Association will send the details to us automatically. Your benefit will be assessed and you will be notified of the outcome.

If your Landlord is not a Housing Association you will need to email proof of the rent increase to housing.benefit@iow.gov.uk

The proof must show the date the rent increased , how much it has increased to and the frequency of payments.


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Question: Will I be eligible for an extended payment?

Answer: Yes if you have been in receipt of the relevant benefit for a minimum of 26 weeks without a break or a sanction and you are now in remunerative work and the job is expected to last more than 5 weeks.

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Question: If someone moves in with me and they are over 18 years of age, will this affect my claim?

Answer: In most cases yes this will have an affect on your claim. Depending on who this is and the relationship to the claimant, it could increase the number of bedrooms required for your needs, your personal allowances or a non-dependant deduction may be applied.

The Benefits office will require the full name of the person moving in, their date of birth, income, and their relationship to you. These details will need to be advised immediately in writing to ensure the correct level of benefit is awarded and to avoid any overpayment of benefit that will need to be repaid. Please email the Benefit Service at housing.benefit@iow.gov.uk or write to Revenues and Benefits Service, Council Offices, Broadway, Sandown, Isle of Wight, PO36 9EA.

Please see below link for further information - Related Link

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Question: I have had a change in my circumstances, what do I do?

Answer: Please inform the Benefits Service immediately at housing.benefit@iow.gov.uk or write to the Revenues and Benefits Service, Civic Centre, Sandown, PO36 9EA, advising them of the change of circumstances. You must tell them within one month of the change and you must provide proof of the change.

You may be required to complete a change in circumstance application form which can be found on our website following the link below.
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Question: I have Local Council Tax Support pending, do I have to pay my rent and/or Council Tax bill?

Answer: Yes, you will need to continue to pay your rent and/or Council Tax bill as there is no guarantee that benefit will be awarded. If you have concerns over your ability to pay, it is important that you discuss with your landlord and council tax department as soon as possible. - Related Link

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Question: What do I do if I have completed my application for Local Council Tax Support but do not have all the evidence I have been asked to supply?

Answer: If you cannot send the evidence we need straightaway, please ensure that you submit the online application form immediately and let us know you will be sending some evidence later. If you do not submit the form straightaway, you might lose money. We can start to process your claim, but we will not be able to pay you any benefit until we have all the evidence.

Ideally we would encourage claimants to provide any supporting evidence within 24 - 48 hours of submitting their claim to avoid any delays in assessing their benefit award and making payment. Where this is not possible you will need to contact the Benefit Service to advise them and to seek further advice.

Please see link below. - Related Link

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Question: What evidence do I need to provide with my application for Housing Benefit?

Answer: If you complete your application on-line you will be provided with a checklist at the end of the application process informing you of any evidence that is required. In general we may need to see evidence of your identity, national insurance number, evidence of your income, capital, savings and investments for both you and your partner if you have one, and proof of your rent.
We would encourage claimants to provide any supporting evidence within 24 - 48 hours of submitting their claim to avoid any delays in assessing their benefit award and making payment. The quicker the information is provided the sooner the benefit can be considered.
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Question: How do I request a Discretionary Housing Payment?

Answer: An application form needs to be completed. A form can be printed by clicking on the related link below and either submitted to one of the Help Centres, details of opening times can be found on www.iwight.com or alternatively, post to Revenue Services, PO BOX 238, Newport, PO30 9FP

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Question: Can I have my Housing Benefit paid to my Landlord?

Answer: The Council can decide to make payment direct to a landlord in exceptional circumstances for a determined period of time. For further information please follow the web link below. A written application request will be required outlining why payments should be considered direct to your landlord.

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Question: As a landlord, can I see the details of the payment of Housing Benefit made to me?

Answer: As a landlord, you can request access to the Landlord Portal by contacting the Housing Benefit team via email: housing.benefit@iow.gov.uk

For further information please click on the related link below: - Related Link

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