Evidence needed for your housing benefit claim and/or council tax support application
This is a guide to tell you what documents you must provide when you make a claim for Housing Benefit and/or Council Tax Support. If you do not provide this evidence you will not get any benefit and/or support. You must also provide evidence if you have a change in your circumstances
We must see the original documents, not copies. You have one month from the time you tell us you want benefit/support to provide the evidence. We need the same evidence for both you and your partner (if you have one). You only have to prove your identity if it is your first time claiming benefit/support.
If you are making your benefit claim online, make sure you fill in the form properly. Once you have made your claim, a print out will tell you what evidence you need to provide. If you are completing a paper claim form, then read the checklist to find out what evidence you must provide. Do not wait until you have all the evidence to make a claim for benefit or you will lose money.
Proof of identity
The following documents are acceptable as proof of identity:
- Birth certificate
- Marriage certificate
- National Insurance number card
- Medical card
- Driving license
- UK residence permit
- EEC identity card
- Recent gas or electricity bill
We may need to see several documents for each person. You will only have to provide evidence of you and/or your partners identity when you claim benefit for the first time.
Proof of National Insurance
Your National Insurance number card, payslips or letters from the Department of Work and Pensions or the tax office. You will only have to provide evidence of you and/or your partners National Insurance number when you claim benefit for the first time
Capital, savings and investments
You must provide evidence of you and your partners capital / savings. These bank statements/ building society books must show full details of transactions for the two months prior to the time you are claiming benefit/support for.
You must also provide evidence of any other capital /investments such as: bonds,stocks/shares,national savings certificates, ISAs, unit trusts, premium bonds other property, land interest or dividends that you and your partner have.
Unless you get guaranteed pension credit, you cannot get housing benefit if you have more than £16,000 in capital.
If you are working age you cannot get Council Tax Support if you have more than £6000 in capital,unless you get Income Support,Income Related Employment & Support Allowance,or Income Based Jobseekers Allowance
If you are a pensioner you cannot get Council Tax Support if you have more than £16,000 capital unless you get guaranteed pension credit
If you/your partner get Income Support,Income Related Employment & Support Allowance,or Income Based Jobseekers Allowance you do not need to provide evidence of income and capital. If you are waiting to hear about a claim for Income Support,Income Related Employment & Support Allowance,or Income Based Jobseekers Allowance you must provide evidence of income and capital.
Proof of earnings
This is for all jobs held by you, your partner and any non-dependants.
- If you are paid every week, we will need to see your last five payslips
- If you are paid every two weeks, we will need to see your last three payslips
- If you are paid every month, we will need to see your last two payslips
If you have just started work, we will accept your contract of employment until your wage slips are available.
If you or your partner are self employed, we need to see the accounts for the last financial year or if you have been trading for less than six months, a summary of your trading records so far. If you do not have accounts, you will have to complete a self employed form.
Proof of Child Maintenance
We must see proof all child maintenance you/your partner are paid such as letters from the Child Support Agency, bank statements , signed statement from the non resident parent. The evidence provided must show the following information:
- Amount that is paid
- How often it is paid and
- Which child it is paid in respect of
Other proof of income
This includes private pensions or annuities that you, your partner or non-dependant get.
If you are receiving a private pension from a previous employer or insurance company, please provide a payment slip showing the details. If the pension is paid directly into your bank account, please provide a bank statement with the figures highlighted.
If you receive maintenance, we will need to see a letter from the court or the payee to show how much you are getting and how often it is paid. We need to know about all income you and your partner get and any available evidence of this income must be provided.
Proof of other benefits
This includes any benefits, state retirement pension or tax credits that you, your partner or non-dependant get.
In most cases we can usually get information about your other benefits you get such as income support, state retirement pension, and tax credits from the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP).
If you or your partner have applied for a benefit from DWP (such as Jobseekers Allowance / Employment & Support Allowance etc) but it has not yet been awarded, then please provide a written statement telling us how you are meeting your daily living expenses.
Proof of rent and tenancy
We will need to see your rent book or rent receipts together with a tenancy agreement or a letter from your landlord. The evidence must be signed by the tenant and the landlord.
This information must show who your landlord is, when the tenancy started, the amount of rent you pay and how often this is due. If there are service charges included in your rent (for example, water) then we will need a full breakdown of these charges.
Proof of child care costs that you pay
If your child or children are looked after by a registered childcare provider, you must provide
- Proof of how much money you pay along and
- The period these payments are for and
- Which child the payments are in respect of and
- the childcare providers registration number.
Proof of the people who live with you
You will need to provide evidence of child benefit for any children / young persons that live with you. We will also need to see their birth certificate.
You will need to provide evidence of the identities of any other adults that live in your home. By adult we mean someone that is not dependant on you (eg a grown-up child). We will ask you to provide evidence of their income. You do not have to do this but it may result in you losing benefit.
How to provide evidence
If you do not have all or some of the evidence or documents we request, contact us. Don't delay in making a claim for benefit because you do not have all the evidence needed - you may lose money.
Provide your evidence in the following ways:
In Person: You can hand evidence/forms in at our Customer Service Centre: Civic Centre, Duke Street, Chelmsford, CM1 1JE. Monday to Friday 8.45am to 4.45pm . We do not open until 10am on the last Wednesday of each month.
If you want to see somebody about your new claim you must make an appointment first by telephoning 01245 606400. If you bring your claim form and all required evidence to your appointment we will aim to make a decision about your benefit that day.
In Person: Parkside Community Hub, Melbourne Avenue, Chelmsford, Essex, CM1 2DX every Wednesday 9.30am to 2pm.
In Person: South Woodham Ferrers Customer Service Centre, 9 Chandlers Way, South Woodham Ferrers, CM3 5TB. Monday to Friday 8.45am to 4.45pm.
By Post: Chelmsford Council, Financial Services, Civic Centre, Duke Street, Chelmsford, CM1 1JE.
Out hours service: From 5pm to 6.30pm Monday to Friday and 9am to 5.30pm, Saturday 9am to 5.30pm and Sunday 1pm to 4pm at Chelmsford Central Library.