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Make a housing benefit claim

How to check how much housing benefit you could get and make a claim.

New claims

If you're making a new Housing Benefit claim (and are of working age), you may have to claim Universal Credit instead. Use Universal Credit postcode checker to check whether you should be claiming Universal Credit or see our Universal Credit page for more information. If you are claiming Housing Benefit, follow the steps below.

Step 1: make a claim 

  • Online: Use our Benefit claim form and calculator.
  • Telephone: 03000 26 2000
  • In person: Make an appointment at one of our customer access points.
  • Via Department for Work and Pensions (DWP): If you've made a claim for Employment and Support Allowance, Jobseekers Allowance or Pension Credit the DWP may have sent a housing claim on your behalf.

Step 2: provide documents as evidence to support your claim

When you make your application, we'll tell you what documents we need to see. You should provide this evidence as quickly as possible to avoid delaying your claim. If it's not provided within a month then your claim may not be processed. You can submit your documents in the following ways:

  • All evidence except for proof of identity can be sent by email to, quoting your claim reference in the subject line if known.  This can include photographs of the documents.
  • At a customer access point  - you will need to make an appointment.
  • By post: please don't send valuable items

Find out more about what information you should provide.

Our Chief Executive has made a 'Direction on electronic communications' for the administration of housing benefit and Council Tax Reduction. This is a legal document to allow us to accept electronic signatures. See the  Icon for pdf E-enabling direction (PDF, 74.3kb)

If you're housebound or have mobility issues

We may be able to visit you at home to collect the documentary evidence we need. Contact us for more information on this service

Step 3: your claim will be processed 

Once we have received all supporting documents, your claim will be processed. We will write to you to confirm your benefit entitlement, telling you how much you will receive and how we reached that decision. We will then make arrangements to pay your benefit.

Universal Credit and Council Tax Reduction

If you are claiming Universal Credit, instead of Housing Benefit, Universal Credit does not include Council Tax Reduction (help with your Council Tax). If you've already applied for Universal Credit and indicated that you are claiming, or intend to claim Council Tax Reduction, we'll be notified of this automatically. We'll use this notification to process your claim and we'll contact you if we need more information, and to confirm your claim.

Benefit appeals

If your claim is turned down, or you are not happy with the level of benefit you have been awarded, you can ask us to look at the decision again.

Contact us
Customer Services
03000 26 0000
Our address is:
  • Durham County Council
  • County Hall
  • Durham
  • County Durham
  • United Kingdom
  • DH1 5UQ
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