Benefits - proof required

The Council must see original documents, not copies. Please do not send valuable items through the post to the Council. If you can bring them into Contact Harlow at the Civic Centre, we will take the details and copies we need and give you the documents back straightaway. If you cannot get into the Civic Centre please Contact Harlow for more advice.

If you do not provide all the proof we need, we might not be able to pay you any benefit and/or support. We need the same proof for your partner, if you have one, and for any other adult non-dependants living in your home. However do not delay in making your application even if you do not have all the necessary proof required, as you may lose some benefit and/or support.

Proof of identity

A birth certificate, marriage certificate, passport, National Insurance number card, medical card, driving licence, UK Residence permit, EEC identity card or recent gas or electricity bill. We may need to see several of these documents for each person.

Proof of National Insurance number

Your National Insurance number can be found on your National Insurance number card, pay slips or letters from the Department for work and Pensions and the Tax Office.

Proof of capital, savings and investments

If your savings and investments are worth more than £6,000 you need to provide bank, building society or post office books, full bank statements, certificates for premium bonds, National Savings Certificates, TESSA’s, ISA’s, stocks, shares, bonds and unit trusts. We need to see proof of any interest or dividends you get on investments and savings. We also need details of any property you own or have a share in either in the UK or abroad. The evidence you send must show details for at least the last 2 months.

Proof of private rent and tenancy

Rent book, rent receipts, a tenancy agreement or a landlord declaration.

Proof of earnings

This means your last 5 pay slips if you are paid every week, your last 3 pay slips if you are paid every 2 weeks, or your last 2 pay slips if you are paid every month.

If you do not receive payslips then you can ask your employer to complete the Certificate of Earnings Form.(pdf)

Self Employed

If you or your partner are self-employed, we need to see your accounts for the last financial year or, if you have been trading for less that 6 months, a summary of your trading records so far.

Proof of other income

Pension slips from a former employer, a letter from the court or former partner showing how much maintenance you are getting, letters about student loans or grants. We need to see proof of any money people pay you for board and lodgings or any other income you may have.

Proof of benefits, allowances or pensions

Current award notices or letters from Department for Work and Pensions or Tax Office confirming how much you get. If you do not have proof, let us know straight away.

Proof of other money paid out

Agreements/receipts from registered child carers or private pension contributions.

What do we do with the proof once received?

All details are securely held according to the Data Protection Act. More information on how Harlow Council uses your information

Electronic communications

Chief Executive, Malcolm Morley OBE, has authorised us to accept electronic communications in the following circumstances:

  • Making an application for housing benefit using Harlow Council’s online application form.
  • Sending an email to stating your name, full postal address and claim reference number (where possible):
    • To amend an application for Housing Benefit or Council Tax Support.
    • To notify a change of circumstances.
    • To provide information in relation to your Housing Benefit or Council Tax Support, such as a written statement. We are not able to accept scanned or photographed images as we require original documents. However if you only receive electronic payslips we may be able to accept these.

If the Council is unable authenticate the identity of the sender, it will be not be considered to be validly sent.