Income and capital

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Housing Benefit, Council Tax Benefit (up until 31 March 2013) and Council Tax Reduction are means-tested. Your income and savings will affect how much benefit and/or reduction you may receive.

Capital

The Government's regulations state how we must treat any capital or savings you have. This includes land and property (other than your home) as well as stocks, shares, bonds, bank accounts and building society accounts.

We do not take account of the first £6,000 of your capital when calculating your benefit. For every £250 (or part) above £6,000, we must add £1.00 to your weekly income when we calculate your benefit if you are under 60. This is called 'tariff income'.

From 2 November 2009, if you are aged over 60, we will not take account of the first £10,000 of your capital. We will only start to take account of each £500 (and add £1.00 to your weekly income) when you have over £10,000.

We need to see proof of all capital held by either:

  • You
  • Your husband/wife/partner
  • In respect of your non-dependants, we need to see proof of any interest they have received

By capital we mean all your money - not just what you would call savings. Examples of capital that we must be told about include:

  • Bank and Building Society Accounts (including current/cheque accounts)
  • Post Office accounts
  • Premium Bonds
  • Stocks and Shares
  • Land or Property (but not the home you live in)
  • Cash
  • ISAs

Acceptable forms of evidence or proof include:

  • Current bank or building society statements that show credits and debits and the outstanding balance over a period of two months
  • Building society or post office books that show credits and debits and the outstanding balance over a period of two months
  • Letter from a bank or building society that shows the:
    • type of account held
    • account number
    • balance outstanding
    • The letter must say whether the details reflect the account for the last two months and provide any information on regular monies deposited into the account

  • Original documents showing proof of ownership of:
    • saving certificates
    • bonds
    • unit trusts
    • stocks and shares etc.

A slip from a cashpoint showing the outstanding balance of an account is not acceptable as evidence.

If you cannot provide proof for any reason, you should contact the office immediately. The staff will advise you what to do, or arrange a visit if necessary.

Remember - We need to see the original documents, not photocopies. If you do not provide the documents we need, your application may be delayed.

Income

State Benefits

If you receive Income Support,Income Based Jobseekers Allowance or Income Related Employment & Support Allowance, we may already have proof of this. If not, we are able to get proof directly from the Department of Works and Pensions.

Where you, your husband/wife/partner or your non-dependants are getting any other benefit, you will need to provide proof.
You can do this in a number of ways, but the best kinds of evidence are:

  • Award notification letters that show the current rates of benefit.
  • Benefit payment books (which are current and contain uncashed orders).

Child Benefit is disregarded for Housing and Council Tax Benefit (up until 31 March 2013) and Council Tax Reduction purposes and therefore proof of this will not be required.

Remember - We need to see the original documents, not photocopies. If you do not provide the documents we need, your application may be delayed.

Earnings

If you are employed we need to see evidence of your earned income and the earnings of your husband/wife/partner and any non-dependants. The evidence you provide must cover either the last:

  • 5 weeks (if paid weekly); or
  • 3 payments (if paid fortnightly); or
  • 2 months (if paid monthly)

The best kinds of evidence are either:

  • Wage slips (not handwritten); or
  • A certificate of earnings (provided with the Housing Benefit/Council Tax Benefit application form), which has been properly completed by the employer.

Other forms of evidence acceptable are:

  • A letter from the employer; or
  • A benefit award notification which states the earnings.

We ask that the form of evidence should show the:

  • Name of the employer
  • Number of hours worked
  • Period covered (eg: week, month etc.)
  • Gross income in year to date
  • Gross income for pay period
  • Income tax deducted
  • National insurance contributions deducted
  • Employee's pension contributions
  • Method of payment, for example
    • Cheque
    • Cash
    • Transfer to bank account

Remember - We need to see the original documents, not photocopies. If you do not provide the documents we need, your application may be delayed.

Self Employment

If you, your husband/wife/partner or your non-dependants are self-employed, we will need to see either:

  • The most recent accounts drawn up for tax purposes; or
  • An estimate of earnings based on income and expenditure.

It would also be helpful if you could send us the latest tax assessment.

If any person is involved in more than one form of self-employment, we need to see separate evidence for each type of work.

Complete and print an online form

Other Income

You will need to provide proof of all other income received by yourself, your husband/wife/partner or your non-dependants. The kind of proof that you can supply will depend on the kind of income, but, as an example, the following are acceptable as evidence of 'other' income:

  • Working Tax Credit - all papers showing award.
  • Child Tax Credit
  • Last payment slips (for example a Works Pension etc.).
  • Award notifications (for example Court Orders or Child Support Agency notifications).
  • Court Order award notices.
  • Letters from absent parents confirming maintenance payments made.

This list does not cover every type of income but, whatever you provide, we need to see the original documents, not photocopies. If you are not sure about what proof to send, you should contact the office. If you do not provide the documents we need your application may be delayed.

There are certain expenses which can be offset against your income for Housing, Council Tax Benefit (up until 31 March 2013) and Council Tax Reduction purposes. These expenses are:

  1. Child care expenses. There are certain circumstances in which you can offset - up to a maximum of £175.00 per week (for one child) or £300 per week (for two children) dependant upon certain qualifying conditions. You need only give details for these if your child/children is/are under the age of 15, attend a registered Nursery, out of school scheme or childminder and you (and your partner) are in full time work (over 16 hours per week). If only one member of the couple works and the other is in receipt of Disability Living Allowance, Attendance Allowance or Incapacity Benefit, you could still qualify for this expense as a deduction - contact the Housing Benefit office for more information.
  2. Private Pension. If you pay into a private pension scheme, half of your contributions may be disregarded. You will need to provide original documentation to confirm the amount you pay.
  3. Payment towards a student grant.