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Due to essential maintenance, the following systems will be unavailable from 6.00pm on Monday 2 October until 8.00am on Tuesday 3 October: our online council tax, business rates and housing benefit services, and our welfare assistance form. You will also not be able to register to pay council tax online, make a change of address for council tax or cancel single person discount. You are still able to make a payment during this time. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.

If you're of working age and think you may be eligible for help with your rent, you must apply for Universal Credit instead of Housing Benefit. Please note that the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) is responsible for Universal Credit.

What information should you provide?

We may need to see documents to confirm what you told us when you make a claim for Housing Benefit or council tax reduction. This page tells you what documents we accept.

To avoid delays to your claim, please make sure any forms are completed in full before you send them to us.

Evidence of identity

We will need evidence for both you and your partner, if relevant. Any of the following documents is acceptable:

  • current passport
  • birth / marriage certificate
  • divorce / annulment / separation papers
  • full or provisional driving licence
  • benefit award letter
  • payslip
  • bank statement
  • utility bill (paid in the last three months)
  • medical card

Evidence of earnings

We'll need to see your payslips. If you get paid:

  • monthly - send your two most recent payslips
  • fortnightly - send your three most recent payslips
  • weekly - send you five most recent payslips

If you don't get a payslip, or it is handwritten, your employer must complete a Icon for pdf Statement of Earnings Form (PDF, 99.0kb) .

Evidence of self-employed earnings

Please provide:

Evidence of rent

If you rent privately, you will need to provide one of the following:

  • your landlord should complete our Icon for pdf Confirmation of Rent Form (PDF, 153.1kb)
  • your most recent tenancy agreement - provided your rent has not changed and less than two years have passed since the inital rental period expired.

If you live with your landlord, or they are a family member, both of you must complete the Icon for pdf Landlord and Tenant Questionnaire (PDF, 115.5kb)

Evidence of benefits and tax credits

This is usually provided by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).

Evidence of pensions

Private pensions - please provide your most recent bank or pension statement showing the amount paid, the name of the person it is paid to and how often it is paid.

Pension Credit - this is usually provided by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).

Evidence of savings and investments

Depending on your circumstances, you and your partner may need to provide the following, where relevant:

  • a bank statement or itemised print out for the most recent full month of each bank account, savings account or ISA held
  • Post Office or building society books or statements
  • National Savings certificates
  • proof of any other savings or investments held
  • If you own a  second property, a completed Icon for pdf Valuation Form (PDF, 160.7kb) and evidence of any outstanding balance on current mortgage

Evidence of money paid out

It's only in certain circumstances that we'll need evidence. 

Payments to a registered childminder

Please provide a letter, recent contract or receipts from the child care provider. This must include their OFSTED registration number, the amount paid for each child and any changes to this amount during the school holidays.

Payments toward a private pension or annuity

Please provide proof of contributions, which are not deducted on your payslip, including details of how much and how often payments are made.

Contributions to the upkeep of a student

Please provide the letter from the Student Loans Company showing the assessed contribution you have been asked to make towards the student's grant or loan.

Contact us
03000 26 2000
Our address is:
  • Transactional and Customer Services
  • PO Box 238
  • Stanley
  • County Durham
  • United Kingdom
  • DH8 1FP
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