Housing Benefit and Council Tax support

Housing Benefit

If you claim or receive Universal Credit, any eligible housing costs will be paid by the Department for Work and Pensions. 

Housing Benefit can still be claimed if you meet any of the following conditions:

  • If you are a resident in supported exempt accommodation you must inform Universal Credit of this and make a claim for Housing Benefit with Reading Borough Council
  • If you have reached State Pension Credit age
  • You are part of a couple where one of you has reached State Pension Credit age
  • You have three or more children and have been advised to claim Tax Credit after 22 February 2017
  • If you have made a claim for Pension Credit
  • The DWP have told you to claim Housing Benefit because Universal Credit can't cover your housing costs 

If you believe you are eligible, you can make a Housing Benefit claim. If we approve your claim, we will set up an online account.

You should check the Entitledto website to see if you could claim any other benefits.

If you rent from a private landlord or agency, the amount of Housing Benefit we can allow is limited by:

We make payment of Housing Benefit to private tenants 4 weekly in arrears by BACS and no longer pay by cheque. If you need to tell us of a new account or a change to the details we hold for you, please complete this form. If you are a Council Tenant, Housing Benefit will be paid directly onto your rent account.

Council Tax support

You should also check whether you are eligible for help with your Council Tax. The money will be deducted from your Council Tax bill. We can backdate claims from pensioners by up to 13 weeks - we do not backdate claims from working age applicants.

If you are already in receipt of Housing Benefit from Reading Borough Council and wish to make a claim for Council Tax Support, please complete this application form. We will use the income and household information on your current Housing Benefit award to determine your application and notify you of any Council Tax Reduction using your online account.

Details of the Council Tax Support scheme are in the pdf icon Council Tax Reduction Scheme Policy [1Mb]pdf icon Summary of changes to Council Tax Reduction Scheme [69kb]


You can appeal within a month of getting your confirmation letter if you disagree with a decision we make. The Citizens Advice Bureau or Reading Community Welfare Rights Unit (0118 955 1070) both offer advice.

Discretionary Council Tax support or housing payments

If you don't get full Housing Benefit or Council Tax support, you could apply for a Discretionary Payment.

We have a limited fund to help people who are in the greatest need. Read our pdf icon Discretionary Special Hardship Policy 2016 - 2017 (2) [272kb] and pdf icon Discretionary Housing Payments Policy [109kb] to see how we make allocations. 

Change of circumstances

You must let us know immediately if anything changes. If you receive benefits you are not entitled to, you will have to pay it back.

Opening hours

Please note, the Civic offices are closed to visitors on Wednesdays for Housing Benefit and Council Tax Support enquiries. 

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