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Benefits - housing benefit and council tax support

Housing benefit helps people with low incomes pay their rent

Find out more about housing benefit

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Council tax support helps people with low incomes pay their council tax 

Find out more about council tax support

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You can make a claim for housing benefit and/or council tax support on line

Make a new claim

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If you are already receiving housing benefit and/or council tax support and your circumstances have changed let us know straight away

Tell us your circumstances have changed

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If you rent your house from a private landlord or a housing association we will pay your housing benefit every four weeks.

Find out your next payment date

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Privacy notice - data sharing with credit reference agencies

Housing benefit is a social security benefit administered by local authorities. Council Tax Support is a local discount scheme run by local councils. The law allows Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) to share information about its customers with local authorities for housing benefit or council tax support purposes so that they can calculate the correct amount of benefit to pay or discount to award. Local authority staff with responsibility for administering housing benefit and council tax support have electronic access to the DWP information they need for this purpose.

The law also allows DWP to data match housing benefit and council tax support with information held by credit reference agencies.

Data matching is where information held on one computer system is compared electronically with information from one or more other computer systems. DWP may compare the information from the housing benefit/council tax support system with that on systems used by the credit reference agencies to identify possible fraud or error.

DWP currently has a contract with the credit reference agency Experian to carry out data matching for each local authority to identify undeclared living together benefit fraud.

The contract stipulates that no electronic 'footprint' will be left on individual customer's credit accounts. This means that the data matching will not affect people's credit ratings. The contract also specifies that Experian must not use the DWP data for any other purposes.