Make a benefit claim
Please ensure before making an application that you are resident in Cambridge city. You can find your local council online if you are unsure.
If you make an application to us in error, the start of your claim and any payments to you could be delayed.
To apply for Housing Benefit or Council Tax Reduction, please make sure you have details of your income, savings, rent that you would pay and any other personal information to hand.
When you have finished completing the form you must click ‘submit’ at the end of the claim process in order for it to reach our system. If you do not your claim will not reach us and you may lose benefit.
Please be aware that the system will be down from 6.30pm- 8.00pm for system maintenance. Please ensure you complete your new claim by this point, or save it and return to it after 8.00pm.
If you do not complete and submit your claim within 14 days of starting, it will automatically be deleted and you will have to re-start the process.
Once we have received your claim, we'll contact you within 3 working days to tell you if you're entitled or to ask for any documentation needed to process your claim. If you have not heard from us via phone, email or letter, please contact us.
If you need technical support to make a claim using our online system, email firstname.lastname@example.org with contact details. One of our officers will contact you the next working day.
Other ways to claim
- Visit us at our Customer Service Centre where you use our computers to make a claim online
You will need to bring details for your income / capital and expenses.
Income: you must list all of the income you receive and be as precise to the exact figure as possible
Capital: this includes all bank accounts, even the ones that may be outside of the UK or not in use.
- Or download and print our Housing Benefit and Council Tax Reduction claim form [PDF, 178.5 KB].
Send completed forms to: Cambridge City Council, Revenue Services (Benefits), FREEPOST PO Box 130, Cambridge CB2 1BR.
Remember to include the supporting documentation we need to see.
You can also bring your printed form and supporting documentation to our Customer Service Centre.
Supporting documents that we need to see
- It's important that you apply without delay, even if you don't have all of the documents we may need.
- As well as completing the form we'll need to see other documents. If you live with a partner, we'll also need to see their information.
- All documents must be originals, we can't accept photocopies.
These are the documents we may need:
- National Insurance number You can still make a claim if you or your partner don't have a National Insurance number or can't find your National Insurance card, or a document such as a P60, P45, benefit entitlement letter etc. We can contact the Department of Work and Pensions to get this information - but it may delay the processing of your application.
- Proof of ID (two per person) For example, your passport, driving licence or birth certificate.
- Evidence of income (earned income or other benefits) State benefits: A letter of your entitlement or your payment book. Earned income: The most recent consecutive payslips - five weekly, three if paid fortnightly or two if paid monthly. Self employed: Detailed accounts to show your income and expenditure. Any other income: Official documents confirming date payment started, how much you will receive and frequency you are paid.
- Proof of rent and tenancy Tenancy agreement, rent book or a completed tenancy declaration form [PDF, 13.2 KB] from your landlord.
- Proof of capital
Benefit can't normally be backdated, so it's important that you send your completed form and documents to us as soon as possible.
If you've claimed benefit, but think you should have done this from an earlier date, you'll need to write to us asking us to backdate your claim. You'll need to give a good reason why your claim is late. This is known as 'good cause' and must be continuous for the period you want benefit backdated.
- Each backdating claim is considered on individual circumstances.
- We'll consider other things which may have affected your ability to claim such as your age, health and other circumstances.
- Benefit can only be backdated for up to 1 month.
If we turn down your claim for backdating, or you disagree with the decision, you can query, review or appeal your benefit decision.
Note: Claims made online, over the telephone or at our Customer Service Centre may be made without a signature: read details of the regulations [PDF, 39.1 KB].
Let us know immediately if you're under threat of eviction as we can liaise with landlords and prioritise claims.
Discretionary Housing Payments (DHP) are extra payments to help pay rent, council tax or both.
We can give DHPs to people claiming benefit who need extra help with their housing costs, if these are more than the amount of benefit they get.
Free school meals for children from households with lower income
Children from households with lower incomes may be entitled to free school meals. If your claim for Housing Benefit or Council Tax Support is successful and we think your family may be entitled to Free School Meals, we'll let Cambridgeshire County Council know and they'll send you a form to apply, or you can apply via the Cambridgeshire County Council website.
Although all Key Stage 1 children get free school meals, you should still apply, as your child’s school will get extra money (called the 'pupil premium').