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How to apply for Housing Benefit and Council Tax Reduction

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Step 1: Contact the council

The quickest, easiest and most effective way to make a new claim is to contact one of our Customer Services Officers:

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Step 2: New claim appointments

For new customers, the Customer Services Officer may suggest that you make a new claim appointment.  New claim appointments may be the preferred option in order to improve our service to customers and to help reduce our processing times.

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Step 3: Arranging a new claim appointment

  • Where appropriate the Customer Services Officer may arrange a new claim appointment with you as quickly as possible to ensure that delays are avoided
  • The Customer Services Officer will not arrange an appointment date until you have all the necessary information/proof to ensure your claim can be processed
  • Once a date and time for the new claim appointment has been agreed the Customer Services Officer may provide you with an application form to be completed by you before the date of the appointment

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Step 4: Completing the application form

Any application form given to you must be fully completed in black ink, signed and dated.  You will need to provide proof of:

  • Your identity and National Insurance Number (when you claim with us for the first time)
  • All of your income and savings and any partner's income and savings
  • Any rent you are being charged

All the documents provided as proof must be originals – we cannot accept copies.

There may be a delay in processing any entitlement to benefit if the application form is not fully completed or is not completed correctly or the correct proof is not provided.

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Step 5: New claim appointment process

  • The new claim appointment will be held with a Customer Services Officer in a separate interview room at Hastings Information Centre
  • On the morning of the date of the appointment the council will contact you by telephone to ensure that you will be attending the appointment and that you have all the necessary information and paperwork
  • If you provide all the necessary information and documents at the new claim appointment the Customer Services Officer will process the claim during the actual appointment.  In the majority of cases any Housing Benefit entitlement will then be paid within 7 days of the new claim appointment

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