How to Claim
Housing Benefit and Council Tax Reduction
You can find out if you qualify for any Housing Benefit/Council Tax Reduction using our Housing Benefit and Council Tax Reduction Calculator.
If you qualify and want to claim housing benefit and/or council tax reduction you can claim online right now using the Online Claim Form.
- complete the form online and submit it to us immediately;
- partially complete and save the form, and return to it at any time;
- complete and submit the online form at the Customer Service Centre
You do not have to use the calculator to make an online claim, but if you do, the information you have already entered into the calculator will automatically be saved into your online claim.
Remember that your claim will usually start from the Monday after we receive it, so if you think you may be entitled, submit your claim as soon as you can.
When you submit your claim, you will be told what evidence you need to supply. You can bring the evidence to the Customer Service Centre, or post it to us at the address below.
If you bring your evidence in person to the Customer Service Centre, our advisors will check the details and information you have supplied and advise you if you are eligible for the Fast Track scheme, which provides an entitlement assessment within 48 working hours.
Please use the address below only for posted items:Ipswich Borough Council
Grafton House, 15-17 Russell Road
Ipswich IP1 2DE
All evidence supplied will be copied and returned to you.
Need advice about your claim?
- You can call the Benefits Helpline: 01473 432700
(From 08:30 - 17:00)
- You can call in to the Customer Service Centre.
If you cannot easily get to the office due to mobility or other problems
- We may be able to visit you at home
- You can contact our Visiting Team on 01473 433809
Can my claim be backdated?
If this is your first claim, your award will usually start from the Monday after we get your form. Even if you do not have all the supporting evidence we need, submit your form straight away, and send the evidence later.
The rules for backdating vary depending on age and circumstance:
Working age customers
You can claim for a backdated period if:
- you have already completed the Housing Benefit and Council Tax Reduction claim form; but
- feel you should have been entitled to help for a period before you made your claim.
The law says we can backdate your award up to 6 months from the date we receive your request, if you can give good reason why you did not apply sooner. The good reason must apply over the full period for which you want backdating.
What is 'good reason'?
Some examples are:
- the death of a close relative;
- being in hospital or seriously ill;
- being wrongly advised by a person who should have known better, such as council staff, the Citizens Advice Bureau, a social worker, DWP staff;
- language difficulties;
- being unable to manage your affairs and not having anyone to help you.
You can download a backdating form here.
Once you have made your backdating request, we will make a decision based on the information you have given us. We will write and tell you our decision. If we refuse your request for backdating, we will send you details of how to appeal.
Customers over the qualifying age for Pension Credit
If you or you partner are over the qualifying age for Pension Credit, and qualify for Housing Benefit or Council Tax Reduction (or both), we can backdate your award up to 3 months before the date you made your claim (as long as you were entitled for that period).
If you are over the qualifying age for Pension Credit and you are entitled from a date before you claimed we will give you your award automatically. We do not need to know why you did not claim sooner to backdate your award.
For us to work out how much you will be entitled to you will need to give us proof of your income, savings and rent for the period you want to claim.
Hostel providers can help their residents make an online claim here:
Last Updated: Thursday 5th December 2013
Housing Benefit Claims Information
You can also call in and speak to an advisor at the Customer Services Centre in the Town Hall.
Tel: 01473 432700
Email: Send us an email