Housing benefit and council tax support popular questions

Here are a list of questions and answers that are frequently asked about housing benefit and council tax support:

What is my current entitlement to housing benefit and council tax support?

You can view your current entitlement by logging into My Account. If you have not registered previously you will need to do this first. To do this please visit www.brent.gov.uk/MyAccount

How do I report a change of circumstance of circumstances?

To do this you need to complete a change of circumstances form

What if I have problems completing my online application?

To get immediate help with filling in any of the online applications you will need to be logged into www.brent.gov.uk/MyAccount. Please select the 'need help' button and choose the 'web chat' option. Web chat operators are available Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm.

When do I need to tell you about a change in mine or my household’s circumstances?

You must do this every time you have a change or there is a change in circumstances within your household. The change needs to be reported to us as it could mean you will be entitled to more or less housing benefit and/or council tax support.

You must inform us within one calendar month of the date of the change. If you report the change after one calendar month has passed, and you are entitled to more housing benefit, you will only be awarded the additional housing benefit from the Monday after you reported the change.

Report your change of circumstances here.

I am experiencing problems completing my change of circumstances online. Why is this?

It is possibly a result of your details not matching what you are entering and what we hold on our computer systems. In order to ensure you are entering the correct details please check and enter your details exactly as they are on your housing benefit notification letter, if you are still experiencing problems please contact an advisor via our web chat by clicking on the 'need help' button. 

Web chat is available Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm.

How do I dispute my current entitlement because I feel there has been an error in my assessment?

If you disagree with the decision you must complete an online dispute form. We aim to respond to deal with disputes within 10 working days.

Why have I not received my payment ?

Please log into www.brent.gov.uk/MyAccount and check the status of your claim. If your claim has been assessed you will be able to view your payment details. If your claim has not been assessed you will need to allow more time.

When is my payment due?

Please visit www.brent.gov.uk/MyAccount to view your payment details,

Why have I received an overpayment?

An overpayment occurs when you have been paid Housing Benefit or more Council Tax Support than you are entitled to. This will usually be through a change in your circumstances such as:

  • An increase in your income
  • Someone moving in with you
  • You are moving out of your property

If you are overpaid you will receive an invoice or, if you still receive Housing Benefit, it will be recovered weekly from your ongoing benefit. If you want to discuss a payment arrangement or have difficulty paying the invoice, please telephone 020 8937 2589 without delay. 

When will my claim be assessed?

Once we have received all the relevant information to assess your claim, these are normally done within five working days. We would recommend that you check the details at the end of the online form, which details the documents required to assess your claim; you must upload direct onto your claim.

If all the information is provided on submission of your application or change of circumstances your claim will be assessed sooner than the five working days.

It may be necessary for us to invite you in for an interview with your original documents, we will send an email with an appointment, please ensure again that the information requested at the end of the online form is brought to the appointment, so that you claim can be assessed on your interview.

Why are payments going to my landlord when I want then to come to me?

If you are a private tenant, in order for payments to be sent directly to you will need to provide evidence that you are up-to-date with your rent. This must be, for example, a letter from your landlord confirming that your rent is up-to-date together with your bank details.

You can complete a change of circumstances form to give us this information.

Please note that for social housing tenants payments are paid directly to the landlord.

Why have I not received my notification letter?

Notification letters are normally received within 10 working days of your assessment. Details of your assessment can be found by logging into www.brent.gov.uk/MyAccount.

Where can I find out about the Overall Benefit Cap?

Go to our important benefit changes page for questions and answers about the cap.

I am self-employed. Could you tell me what information I need to provide and how to complete a self-employed income and expense declaration form?

Please read our Self-Employed Guidance. Please also see the full list of incomes, allowable and non-allowable expenses for your information. An email will be sent to you containing an additional self-employed form for completion when you indicate on your claim that you are self employed.