Benefits - payments

Council Tax support and Housing benefit are paid separately.

Council Tax support

Council Tax support will be automatically paid to your Council Tax account and you will be issued with a revised Council Tax bill, which will include a schedule of payments, if any monies are due.

The payment is calculated up to the end of the financial year (31 March) and is made on the assumption that your circumstances will not change between the date the payment was made and the 31 March. For this reason if there are any changes in your circumstances it is essential that you notify us as soon as possible.

Housing benefit

Housing benefit is paid in a variety of ways depending on what type of tenancy you have:

Council tenants

Your Housing benefit will be paid directly into your Council housing rent account (weekly in advance).

Housing association tenants and tenants of social landlords

Your Housing benefit can be paid either to you or your landlord:

Paid to you: if you would like housing benefit to be paid to you, then you will need to supply us with your bank details when you apply for Housing benefit. These payments are made fortnightly in arrears by BACS. If your bank details change at a later stage then you can download and complete a BACS Application Form (pdf) or pick up in person from Contact Harlow at the Civic Centre.

Paid direct to Landlord: if you wish, and your landlord agrees, Housing benefit may be able to be paid direct to them. This will be four weekly in arrears by BACS. You can download complete with your landlord the Paying Benefit to your Landlord Form (pdf) or pick up in person from Contact Harlow at the Civic Centre.

Private tenants

Housing benefit will normally be paid fortnightly in arrears into your bank account. However in some special circumstances we may be able to pay directly to your landlord. Payment can be made direct to your landlord if it is proven that you have severe money management problems, or you are considered to be vulnerable, please see our direct payment policy for further information.

  • we will pay your landlord direct, if they can show that your rent payments are more than eight weeks in arrears.
  • if your tenancy is under threat as you can no longer afford the rent, we will pay your landlord direct if they lower the rent to an affordable level. If you are seeking a property and the Landlord reduces the rent to enable you to move in we will also be able to consider paying them direct.

If the Council decides that payments can be made directly to your landlord, then we will pay them four weekly in arrears but the decision may be reviewed on a regular basis.

Debt advice and bank accounts

Basic bank accounts are available to most people even if you have outstanding financial problems. You may also be able to open an account with Harlowsave Credit Union.

If you have difficulty paying your Council bills please Contact Harlow in the first instance. There are also a number of other independent and government organisations, that may be able to give advice with not only Council bills but any other bills you may have.