Letters about your claim for help with your rent or council tax

When you make a claim for help with your rent or council tax, there are two types of letter you’ll receive from us as we process your claim.

  1. Automatic claim notification letters that you must check carefully
  2. Personal letters sent by members of the benefits teams

Our letters are available in large print or Braille and you can request these alternative formats by contacting us.  If English is not your first language, see the council’s translation services web page.

Automatic claim notification letters

The council’s automatic claim notification letters contain the information about you and your household we have used to work out how much Housing Benefit and Council Tax Reduction (or Council Tax Benefit before April 2013) you are entitled to.

You must read these letters very carefully to check that the information shown is complete and correct. If any of the details about you and your household are wrong, inaccurate or missing, you must let us know as soon as possible.

If your details are wrong or incomplete, you may be missing out on benefit that is due to you, or we may be paying more benefit than you are entitled to. It could be considered as benefit fraud if you knowingly continue to receive benefit or a Council Tax Reduction based on incomplete or inaccurate information, so if you have any doubts about the personal or financial details shown in your notification letters you should contact us.

Example letters with guidance notes

To learn more about the contents of your claim notification letters and how to check them, click on the examples below.

Letters following the calculation of a Council Tax Reduction

Under the new Council Tax Reduction scheme (CTR) which replaced Council Tax Benefit from April 2013, when your entitlement is calculated (or recalculated), you’ll receive a Council Tax Reduction letter showing the amount you are entitled to have taken off your Council Tax bill.

Letters when a new benefit claim has been successful and put into payment 

Letters following a change of circumstances

When you have a changes of circumstances during the course of your claim (for example, a change to your household or a change in household income) your benefit entitlement will need to be re-calculated.   

Letters following the calculation of an overpayment of benefit

If you have a change of circumstances that causes an overpayment of benefit you will receive an automatic overpayment notification letter setting out how the overpayment will be recovered.

Personal letters sent by members of the benefits teams

The benefits teams may need to write to you personally to process your claim, for example to ask you to send in further information or original documents, or to advise you that your claim is being suspended whilst we are waiting for information. We will also write to you if you ask for a ‘Statement of Reasons’ regarding a decision taken about your benefit, and you will also be sent a written response if you appeal against a benefit decision.

Questions about your letters

If you have any queries about any of the letters you receive from the council regarding a benefit claim or a claim for a Council Tax Reduction, you should contact us for more information.

Can I get my claim notification letters by email?

At present we are unable to offer this service.