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Housing benefit and council tax support

Housing benefit and council tax support are available for people on low incomes to help them cover the cost of their rent.

Important news

Many of our council tax and benefit services are now only available online.

To be able to access these services customers will have to create their own self service account.
  
To create an account you will need to have a valid email address. If you do not have an email, download our guide on how to set up an email account (pdf).
 
Having your own self-serve account means you can access your information on council tax and housing benefit at time that suits you 24-hours-a-day. For customers who are unable to access the internet or require assistance to set up a self-serve account, help is available at:

  • customer services in the town hall, Weston-super-Mare
  • our libraries (there are computers and free internet access in all our libraries) - find out about your local library
  • some of our partner agencies such as the citizens advice bureau, Alliance Homes and Knightstone Housing

Register here for self serve and manage your account online today.

The following services are only available online:

  • Making a claim – Our new claim form is completely interactive and very easy to use. It will only ask you the questions relevant to your circumstances and let you know exactly what evidence you need to provide to complete your application. Using our online form, your claim will also be processed faster meaning you will receive any benefit entitlement earlier.
  • Telling us about a change of circumstances – Telling us about any changes is now much easier and straight forward. If you have set up an account, you only need to log in, click on the link and complete the interactive form.

A change in circumstances can include a change of income, a change in the people who live at an address, a temporary absence including a hospital stay or if you are moving home. Find out more about telling us when your circumstances change.

If you have a query about council tax benefit or housing benefit contact our council tax and housing benefit customer services team.

Banking arrangements

Following a tendering process, Barclays Bank will be providing banking arrangements for us from 1 April 2014. Find out if this will affect the way you pay us on our change of banking arrangements page.

Welfare reform

The introduction of the government’s Welfare Reform Act means significant changes to the way welfare support is calculated, managed and paid and will affect anyone who receives welfare benefits. Find out about welfare reform.

Making a claim

Find out whether you're eligible to claim benefit and what you need to do to make a claim, including what evidence you need to provide. You may be eligible for a second adult rebate even if you are not entitled to housing or council tax benefit. Find out about claims and payments.

Telling us when your circumstances change

You must tell us about any change in your circumstances straightaway so you don't lose out on any money that you should be receiving or end up having to pay money back at a later date if you've been paid too much. Find out about how to tell us about your change of circumstances.

Reporting fraud

The majority of benefit claimants in North Somerset are honest but we have a responsibility to tackle those who are not. If you suspect someone is committing fraud against the council you can let us know by using our online form, emailing fraud@n-somerset.gov.uk, or reporting your suspicions anonymously by calling 01275 884 283. 

Appeals

If you don't agree with our decision about your benefit, you can ask us to reconsider. In some cases you will have the opportunity to appeal again if you are still unhappy with our decision. For more information read our housing and council tax appeals FAQs.

Information for landlords

For more information about how claims and eligibility affect landlords read our landlords FAQs.