May elections

You must register to vote in the upcoming May elections before Wednesday 17 April. If you cannot attend the elections, you can apply for a postal vote before 5pm on Wednesday 17 April. Find all the key dates on our election news page.


Apply for Housing Benefit

You can only make a claim for housing benefit if you:

  • have reached State Pension age
  • live in supported accommodation
  • live in temporary accommodation

If none of the above apply to you, you will need to claim Universal Credit

You can get Housing Benefit if you:

  • rent your home
  • are responsible for paying rent as a tenant or lodger
  • have a low income, or are claiming benefits
  • usually live in your home for which you are claiming Housing Benefit
  • have savings of less than £16,000

You can use entitledto's free calculator to find out how much benefit you might be able to claim. You should be aware though that this is only an estimate and could be different from your actual award. 

You may also be able to claim Council Tax Support if you’re claiming Housing Benefit.


Applying for Housing Benefit online takes between 10 minutes and 30 minutes. You can save and return to the application as many times as you need to.

When claiming Housing Benefit you can also claim Council Tax Support.


You will need to provide evidence to support your application before we can make a decision. The sooner you provide the information the faster a decision will be made.


Examples of evidence of identity include:

  • birth certificate
  • passport
  • driving licence
  • marriage certificate
  • National Insurance card
  • medical card
  • Uk Residence permit
  • EEC identity card
  • recent gas or electricity bill

We may need to see a number of these documents for each person

National Insurance number

Examples of evidence of National Insurance number include:

  • National Insurance card
  • payslips
  • letters from the Department of Work and Pensions or the tax office

Capital, savings and investments

Examples of evidence of capital, savings and investments include:

  • all your bank, building society or post office books
  • full bank statements
  • certificates for premium bonds
  • National Savings Certificates
  • TESSAs
  • ISAs
  • stocks and shares
  • bonds
  • unit trusts

We need to see evidence of any interest or dividends you get on investments and savings.

We need to see this evidence for any children in your household as well.

The evidence you send must show details of at least the last 2 months.

Private rent and tenancy

Examples of private rent and tenancy include:

  • rent book
  • rent receipts
  • tenancy agreement
  • letter from your landlord


We need to see your last 5 payslips if you are paid every week, the last 3 if you are paid every 2 weeks, or your last 2 if your are paid monthly.

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 than 6 months, a summary of your trading records so far.

If you cannot get wage slips, we might contact your employer to confirm details.

Other income

Examples of evidence of other income include:

  • pension slips from a former employer
  • a letter from the court showing how much maintenance you are getting

We need to see evidence of any money people pay you for board and lodgings.

Benefits, allowances or pensions

Examples of evidence of benefits, allowances or pensions include:

  • current award notices
  • letters from the Department of Work and Pensions or the tax office confirming how much you get

If you do not have evidence, let us know straight away.

We will fully disregard income from War Widows (Widowers), War Disablement Pension and the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme when we assess your entitlement to Housing Benefit. You can find more information in our war pension and armed forces compensation disregard policy in schedule 6 of our Council Tax Support scheme

Other money paid out

Examples of evidence of money paid out include:

  • letters about student grants or maintenance 
  • agreements or receipts from registered childcarers

You can provide the evidence by:

  • post (Revenues and Benefits, Civic Centre, The Water Gardens, College Square, Harlow CM20 1WG)
  • in person at the Civic Centre

We will make a decision as soon as possible once you have provided all the evidence to support your application.

If you have claimed Housing Benefit from us before, then you can sign up for an online account to be notified as soon as a decision is made.

Receiving payments

Your payments will depend on the property you live in.

If you live in our council housing, we’ll pay Housing Benefit directly into your rent account. You won’t receive the money.

If you’re a private tenant, we’ll usually pay Housing Benefit into your bank or building society account, although we may decide that it’s in your best interests to pay your Housing Benefit directly to your landlord.