Frequently Asked Questions
With effect from 29 June 2016 Richmondshire District Council became part of Full Service Universal Credit. If you are unsure whether to claim help with your rent from us, or from Universal Credit, please contact the Benefits Team on 01748 901073 or contact Universal Credit. Please note that all Council Tax Reduction claims will be dealt with by us.
Q: How do I make a claim for benefit?
A: You need to fill out a claim form. You can do this online by completing our online application form or you can contact the office to request a claim form to be sent to you. Alternatively you could call into one of our five community offices in the Richmondshire district to request a form.
Q: I am not sure if I am entitled, how can I find out before I move in?
A: You can click on our benefit calculator. Alternatively, you can telephone the Benefit Team, who will ask you some questions and then give you an idea of how much benefit you might be entitled to.
Q: If I am entitled, when will you start paying me?
A: Housing Benefit and Council Tax Reduction are normally paid from the Monday after we receive your claim. You can ask us to backdate your claim, but you must show us there was a good reason why you didn't claim earlier as backdating is not automatic.
Q: How do I get paid my benefit?
A: Council Tax Reduction is credited to your council tax account and if you are a council tenant, housing benefit will be credited to your rent account. If you rent from a housing association or private landlord, we will pay directly to you or your landlords bank account.
Q: Where are your local offices and when do they open?
A: There are several local offices across the district. Several local offices.
Q: Do I need to give you anything else apart from my claim form?
A: Yes. We will need to see evidence in support of what you have written on the form. For example if you pay rent, we will need to see a rent book or tenancy agreement.
Q: My daughter usually deals with all my paperwork – can she deal with my claim for me?
A: Yes. If you have someone who usually helps you, they can deal with your claim for benefit. We will call them an 'appointee'.
Q: Why do I have to send in two months' bank statements?
A: We ask to see proof of your capital to support your claim for benefit as any money held in bank accounts is classed as 'capital'.
Q: Why can't you pay the full rent? What are Rent Officer restrictions?
A: Housing Benefit for private tenants is normally based on the general level of rents for similar properties in the same area. If the rent charged is above this level, Housing Benefit is likely to be restricted.
Q: How can I appeal against your decision?
A: You can appeal against our decision by writing to us and asking us to have another look at the decision we have made. You must do this within one month of the notification letter we send you.