Your Housing Benefit award notice can be confusing. There is an example of an award notice below and we have put a key underneath that answers some of the questions that we get asked a lot.

New example housing benefit letter

  1. Name and address of person who has claimed benefit.

  2. The reference number for your benefit claim. Please quote this number whenever you contact us about your Housing Benefit.

  3. The Council Tax account number for the property. This will change when you move address. Please quote this number whenever you contact us about your Council Tax.

  4. If you are a Private Tenant your landlord will have their own reference number. They will need to quote this number whenever they contact us.

  5. If you are a Council Tenant the reference number for your rent account will be shown here.

  6. This is the reason that a calculation has been made on your claim.

  7. This is the amount of Housing Benefit that you will be entitled to each week. We work this out by doing a calculation comparing your income with your applicable amount. Explanations of how we work out your income and applicable amount are shown below. Please note, you may not receive the full amount of the award shown here. Please see the sections on Overpayment Recovery and Net Benefit below.

  8. If you have been overpaid benefit then your payments will be reduced by this amount until the overpayment has been paid back. For more information please visit our overpayment page.

  9. This is your weekly benefit award with any overpayment recovery taken off it. This is the actual amount of payment that you will receive. For details of how and when you will receive your payment please visit our benefit payment page.

  10. This is the total amount of rent that you owe your landlord on a weekly basis. If you pay your rent monthly this is converted to a weekly figure to work out your benefit.

  11. Not all of the rent that you are charged is able to have Housing Benefit paid on it. Things like heating and hot water costs are taken off your rent to leave your eligible rent. The eligible rent is what we will base your Housing Benefit on.

  12. This is the total amount of your rent that is counted as ineligible services (See point 11 above for examples of what is classed as ineligible) and so is not taken into account when working out your Housing Benefit.

  13. If you have any non dependants in your household a deduction will be made from your benefit to account for the contribution their income makes to the households finances. This section breaks down the non dependant deductions that we have taken.

  14. This is total weekly income for you and your partner including any state benefits.

  15. This is the amount that is disregarded from your total income due to government and council rules.

  16. These are any childcare costs or payments to private pension schemes (other than payments through your wages) that you make. Please note that under Government rules we only count half of your pension payments as expenses. 

  17. This is the income that we base your Housing Benefit claim on. It is your total weekly income with the Disregarded Income and Expenses taken off.

  18. An Applicable Amount is set by the Government. It is the amount that the Government says that you and your family need to live on each week based on your circumstances. 

If any of the figures that we are using to work out your Housing Benefit are incorrect or if your circumstances change please contact us.