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Understanding notification letters

The following information has been provided to help you understand the notification letters you may receive for Housing Benefit or Council Tax Support or you can also download this information.

There may be a statement of Facts (up to 3 pages) attached to each decision notice showing a breakdown of the information used to calculate your benefit. This might show a breakdown of money coming in and savings. Also the figures used in the calculation including rent-free adjustments.

Housing Benefit Letter
Council Tax Support Letter

1. Correspondence address - this is where we are sending the letters. It might be sent to an appointee or agent if you ask. 

2. Reason for calculation - the reason why the benefit calculation has been carried out will be stated here. There may be more than one reason.

3. Estimated first payments may be shown on the notice but can be changed or paid in smaller instalments.

4. Date of payment may appear here but the payment will not appear in your bank account until the following week. 

5. If other adults live in your home we call them non-dependents. You must tell us about them and we show their details here. We may reduce your benefit if they have income they can contribute to household costs. These will usually be grown-up sons and daughters, friends and relatives who are living with you. This is called a non-dependent deduction.

6. Income - a full breakdown of money coming in is usually attached to the decision notice. Check we have recorded the details correctly. If it is wrong please call or write to us promptly. If we make a mistake and you do not tell us about the error promptly you may have to pay back any extra benefits you got as a result of our mistake.

7. Quote the claim number if you contact us

8. This is the date of the decision. You have one calendar month to dispute or appeal this decision.

9. Name and address of person benefit has been claimed for. If different to claimant’s name or address. 

10. Payment of housing benefit will be paid into a Council rent account or directly into a bank account or building society account using Bank Automated Credit (BACs). We also give the frequency. In some cases we have decided to pay a landlord or agent directly due to rent arrears or they are a social landlord. This will be stated here.

11. The applicable amount or living allowance is only calculated if you are not getting income based Employment and Support Allowance, Income Support, Pension Credit or income based Jobseeker’s Allowance. This is the minimum amount you need to live on. Check we have used your correct household details. It will show if you are single, a lone parent or a couple. An age range such as under 25, 25-60, 60-65 and over 65 and the number of children and their ages. Tell us if it looks wrong.

12. Relevant non-dependent percentage is 100% unless you are a joint tenant or joint owner and the non-dependent deduction is shared.

13. Expenses - these will usually be childcare costs. Tell us if you pay for childcare and if the amount changes.

14. Capital is made up of the value of savings, investments, property and land. It does not count the value of the home you live in. If it is over £6,000 it can increase income (£10,000 for pension age claims) It does not apply if you get Pension Credit.