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Housing Benefit and Local Council Tax Support


Online benefit application

Work out how much housing benefit and/or Local Council Tax Support you could get and apply online.



Housing Benefit

Housing Benefit helps pay all or part of your rent if you are on a low income.

You can apply if you are 16 or over, pay rent and whether you are working, self-employed, unemployed or retired.

If you are claiming or in receipt of Universal Credit, help with your housing costs will be included in with your Universal Credit payment so you do not need to apply for Housing Benefit from the council. However, it does not include Local Council Tax Support so you still need to claim this from the council.

There’s no set amount of Housing Benefit. How much you get depends on:

  • how much rent you pay 
  • your household income and circumstances (including your partner’s and any other adults living with you)
  • your savings and investments (if you have savings over £16,000 you will not normally get benefit, unless you have Guarantee Pension Credit)
  • if someone does not live with you but stays overnight to care for you, you may get more benefit

You will be automatically entitled if you are claiming income support, income based jobseekers allowance, Income related employment and support allowance or Guarantee Pension Credit. 

If you are self employed you will need to provide your latest profit and loss account or account books for the last 12 months.

Local Housing Allowance rates

If you rent privately how much you get is based on the Local Housing Allowance rules. This does not apply if you are a tenant of The Gateshead Housing Company or a housing association.

 Shared Accommodation Rate  £60.00 per week
 One Bedroom Rate  £90.90 per week
 Two Bedrooms Rate  £103.56 per week
 Three Bedrooms Rate  £115.07 per week
 Four Bedrooms Rate  £149.59 per week

From April 2013

If you are of working age, from April 2013, if you live in council accommodation or other social housing and are assessed as having at least 1 extra bedroom in your house, your Housing Benefit could be reduced by:

  • 14% if you have 1 extra bedroom
  • 25% if you have 2 or more extra bedrooms

The changes also include a max limit on the amount of benefit someone can receive (the benefit cap).

If you live with other people including grown up children, friends and relatives your benefit may be reduced. These reductions are increasing so, anyone already getting help with their rent and council tax could receive less each year.

More information on the changes

How benefit is paid

Housing Benefit is normally paid from the Monday after your claim. Benefit can be backdated to an earlier date but only if you can show good cause for not applying sooner.

Download back-dating form

If you are a council tenant, we pay Housing Benefit straight into your rent account. If you're not a council tenant, your Housing Benefit will be paid to you by cheque or by Direct Payment into your bank or building society account.

Change of circumstance

You must tell us about any changes at all that could affect your benefit, e.g. changes to your income, household or savings.

Download form to tell us


If we have overpaid benefit to you we will send you a letter telling you how much and what you can do if you disagree.

Make a payment now

Local council tax support

The council has its own scheme of Local Council Tax Support. This gives people on low incomes a reduction in the amount of Council Tax they have to pay. 

If you are claiming or in receipt of Universal Credit, this will not include help towards your council tax so you must apply for Local Council Tax Support from the council.

Local Council Tax Support in Gateshead is worked out by comparing a person’s income and capital to a standard weekly amount (applicable amount). That amount is made up of elements which take into account whether a person is single, part of a couple, disabled and so on.

If a person’s income is below their applicable amount they get maximum help with their Council Tax. If the person’s income is above their applicable amount, the maximum help available is reduced, depending on how much above their applicable amount their income is. Where someone is entitled to Local Council Tax Support, this is automatically deducted from their Council Tax bill.

For pensioners, the maximum possible help is 100% of the Council Tax due after discounts. For those of working age, the maximum possible help is 91.5% of the Council Tax due after discounts. This means that someone who is working age and has a monthly bill of £100 will have to pay at least £8.50 a month.

Local Council Tax Support is deducted directly from the Council Tax due on your bill.

More information

Contact us

Phone 0191 433 4646