Application form for Housing Benefit, Council Tax Reduction and Second Adult Rebate

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1 HC BEN 1 Application form for Housing Benefit, Council Tax Reduction and Second Adult Rebate If you and/or your partner have capital of more than 16,000 and you or your partner are in receipt of Job Seeker s Allowance Income Based, Employment Support Allowance Income Related, Income Support or Pension Credit Guarantee you will qualify for Housing Benefit and/or Council Tax Reduction. You may claim Second Adult Rebate regardless of income or capital (see Guidance tes 2 for details). If you and/or your partner have capital of more than 16,000 and you are not in receipt of the benefits listed in this paragraph, you will not qualify for Housing Benefit/Council Tax Reduction and should not therefore submit an application form to us. To avoid losing benefit you should fully complete, sign and return this form complete with all of the required information and proof requested as quickly as possible. n Applicant s name and address Name... Address Postcode... Read the guidance notes contained within this form and then complete and return this form together with all information and proof requested as quickly as possible to a designated office at: The Operations Team, The Highland Council, PO BOX 5650, Inverness IV3 5YX PLEASE COMPLETE THIS SECTION The form should be completed in black ink and block capitals. n About your home (tick every box which applies) Do you: Rent from the council? Do you sub-let your house? Do you use your home for business purposes? We may contact you for further information. FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Rent from a private landlord? Rent from a housing association? Live in a hostel? Live in homeless accommodation? Have a joint tenancy? Have a life rent agreement? Own your home? Jointly own your home? Other? (please give details below) How many bedrooms in your property? Claim number CT ref. number Rent ref. number Date issued Date of first contact Reason for issue NEW/CIC Date Received: Has your house been significantly altered for you/a member of your household? PR12-79-F MAR13 v8

2 Please tear out and read the four pages of Guidance tes on the opposite page before you complete this form. About you and your partner A You must answer each question by completing every section fully and ticking either or box. We will return your form if you fail to answer any question or sign this form. If you are single or separated, complete only sections headed You. If you have a partner, complete sections for both you and your partner. See Guidance te 3. Second Adult Rebate - if you are claiming only Second Adult Rebate tick this box and please complete Sections A, C, and J only. To find out more about Second Adult Rebate, see Guidance te 2. YOU PARTNER Title (Mr/Mrs/Miss/Ms) and Surname Other names TITLE S u r n a m e TITLE S u r n a m e Date of birth n Tick one box only: D D / M M / Y Y Y Y D D / M M / Y Y Y Y Single Married, living together Separated Divorced Widowed or Civil Partner Daytime telephone number: address: National Insurance Number: LETTERS NUMBERS LETTER LETTERS NUMBERS LETTER If you do not have a National Insurance Number please tick this box. n Give details of any other names you have used. n What nationality are you? n Have you lived in the UK for the whole of the last 2 years? If you answer you will have to provide more information. We will contact you about this. n What date did you move into this address? D D / M M / Y Y Y Y D D / M M / Y Y Y Y n If you have not yet moved into this address give the date you intend to move in. Y O U P A R T N E R n Is this your main home? If, state the address of your main home. n Do you or your partner require care overnight? n Do you or your partner have a carer who stays overnight in your home? Please see note 14 on page IIII of Guidance tes before answering the next question n Are you in receipt of a qualifying benefit? n If you replied NO to the above please state why you need an overnight carer? n How long have your or your partner required overnight care? We may need to contact you further. 2 Continued overleaf...

3 Guidance tes - Housing Benefit, Council Tax Reduction and Second Adult Rebate We hold a register of people who are visually impaired. To have your name added to this register or to request this form in an alternative format eg. Large Print, braille, computer disc, audio tape, or suitable language, please contact any Council Service Point. Please tear out and read these notes carefully before you fill in the form. You should keep the notes in a safe place in case you need to refer to them later. Please complete the form in black ink and block capitals and return complete with all of the required information as quickly as possible to a designated office at: The Operations Team, The Highland Council, PO BOX 5650, Inverness IV3 5YX. Our other designated offices are listed on our website at or can be obtained by calling us on Housing Benefit and Council Tax Reduction Housing Benefit and Council Tax Reduction may help you pay your rent and council tax if you are on a low income. Depending on your income and circumstances, we can pay up to 100% of your rent and council tax. You will have to pay for your water and waste water charges, as the reduction scheme does not cover these charges. Housing Benefit cannot help with costs such as mortgage payments, most fuel costs, cost of meals, water charges, personal laundry, care charges or cleaning. You cannot claim Housing Benefit if you live in the same property as your landlord and they are a close relative such as a parent, step-parent, son, daughter, stepson, stepdaughter or their partners. There are other circumstances where you may not qualify for benefit because of your relationship to your landlord. When you claim benefit, we will contact you if any of these apply. Local Housing Allowance Local Housing Allowance was introduced on 7 April It is a way of working out Housing Benefit for tenants renting accommodation on or after 7 April 2008 from a private landlord or existing Housing Benefit claimants who move address. Local Housing Allowance is not based on the property in which you live. It is based on: Who lives with you; Which area you live in; How much money you have coming in; and What savings or capital you have. If you live in Council accommodation or other social housing, Local Housing Allowance will not affect you. 2. Second Adult Rebate If your income or capital is too high for you to qualify for Council Tax Reduction and you have one or more adults who live with you, you may be entitled to a Second Adult Rebate. Your partner or a paying lodger does not count as a second adult. Your income and capital are not taken into account. The Rebate will be based on the second adults income and you may receive a reduction of up to 25% from your Council Tax. For example, if you do not qualify for Council Tax Reduction and you have no one other than a son or a daughter who is receiving Income Support living with you and not paying you rent, you will be entitled to 25% reduction in your Council Tax. If you are a student and you have a non student(s) on a low income living with you, up to 100% reduction may apply. If you are claiming Second Adult Rebate you only need to complete Sections A, C and J of this form. 3. How to complete your claim form Please read the questions carefully, complete every section fully in black ink and tick either the or box for each question where this is required. If you do not answer a question we will have to return the form to you. You and your partner On the form we refer to you and your partner. By partner, we mean your husband or wife or the person you live with as if you were married including Civil Partnerships. If you are separated from your partner you need not complete partner details. Appointee If the claimant is unable to deal with their financial affairs, someone who has power of attorney or an assigned appointee may do so. If you are acting as the claimant s representative, please complete the form and include your details at Section J. If the claimant has no representative but would like someone to act on their behalf for benefit purposes please contact any Service Point. Guidance tes Page I

4 n-dependant A non-dependant is someone who normally lives in your household for example, a grown up son or daughter, or other relative. In most circumstances a deduction is made from your benefit for each non-dependant who stays with you. The amount of the deduction depends on the non-dependant s income and circumstances. If you are able to, it is important to provide a designated office with proof of each non-dependant s income, as this will allow us to make the correct deduction. If the non-dependant prefers, they can send the proof directly to any designated office. If we do not receive any proof of their income you may receive less financial assistance. General Counselling & Support If you are charged for certain services as a condition of your tenancy, you must let the designated office know. These would include things such as a charge for emergency alarms, cleaning rooms and windows if you are not able to do this yourself, dealing with neighbour disputes, helping you to claim benefits, shopping, helping with household budget and minor repairs. If your rent includes any of these things, tick the box at General Counselling & Support in Section I on page 15 and we will get in touch with you or your landlord if we need more information. Income Disregards There are certain allowances and pensions, which are not taken into account when we work out your benefit/reduction. These are allowances such as Disability Living Allowance, Personal Independence Payment and Attendance Allowance. The Highland Council disregards War Disablement and War Widow s pensions. Although we disregard all of these, you must still tell us about them on the form as in certain circumstances you may get more benefit. 4. What documents do I need to send you? You must send a designated office proof of income and capital for you and your partner and proof of rent if you do not rent your house from The Highland Council. You must also send a designated office proof of income and interest received from savings for any non-dependants that live with you (see n-dependant section above). If you do not have your payslips, we will contact your employer. If this is your first claim for Housing Benefit and/ or Council Tax Reduction to The Highland Council you must provide proof of your, and your partner s National Insurance Number(s). You must provide proof of you and your partner s identity with every claim. Examples of acceptable proof are shown on the benefit form checklist in Section L on page 20. Please try to send all the documents we ask for with the form so that we can work out your benefit/reduction quickly. If you cannot send the documents at present, send the completed form to The Operations Team, The Highland Council, PO BOX 5650, Inverness IV3 5YX right away. You then have 1 calendar month to provide the proof we have asked for. If you do not provide the proof within 1 calendar month we can cancel your claim. The quicker you provide these documents, the quicker we can assess your claim. If you would prefer, you can take the documents along to any Service Point where they will be checked. Service Point staff will complete the checklist at Section L to confirm what proof you have provided and still need to provide. 5. When will my benefit/reduction start? You will only get Housing Benefit/Council Tax Reduction if you are occupying the property as your home. Your housing benefit will normally start on the Monday following the date we receive your form, and there are different rules for council tax reduction. If you are in receipt of Income Support (IS), Job Seeker s Allowance (Income Based) (JSA(IB)) or Employment Support Allowance (Income Related) (ESA(IR)) your benefit will normally start on the Monday after your IS or JSA(IB) starts. If you have just moved to a new address, in certain circumstances you can claim Housing Benefit on your present and previous address for a maximum of 4 weeks. If this applies to you, contact a designated office right away. We can only backdate your claim for benefit if you can show the Operations Team you had good reasons for not claiming benefit at the correct time. If you want to claim backdated benefit you must write to the designated office giving your reasons for the delay in claiming benefit. We can only backdate benefit for 6 months for working age claimants and 3 months for pension age claimants. 6. How will my benefit/reduction be paid? If you are due Council Tax Reduction or Second Adult Rebate, it will be credited to your Council Tax account. If you are a Council tenant, any Housing Benefit due to you will be credited to your rent account. If you have a private landlord any Housing Benefit due will be paid to you fortnightly in arrears paid directly into your bank/ building society account by BACS or in some circumstances by crossed cheque. In exceptional circumstances we may agree to pay your Housing Benefit direct to your landlord. You would have to complete a form called a Safeguard Referral form. If you would like more information about this or to request a Safeguard Referral form please contact any designated office. Guidance tes Page II

5 7. What if I think my benefit calculation is wrong? If you think your benefit is wrong, you can ask the Operations Team to look at your claim again. To do this, you must write within one calendar month of the date on your benefit decision letter telling the designated office why you think it is wrong. You also have the right to appeal against our decision. Our benefit appeals leaflet is available from Service Points. If you would like free advice, contact our Customer Income Maximisation Team on or your local Citizens Advice Bureau listed on the next page. 8. What is considered a reasonable rent? If you are exempt from Local Housing Allowance and are a private tenant we will ask the Rent Registration Service to decide if your rent is reasonable. They are responsible to the Scottish Government and are not connected to the Council. They will tell us the average rent being charged for similar sized properties in your area. This figure is the maximum Housing Benefit we can pay. If you are under 35 years of age and live alone, your rent will normally be restricted. If you would like more information about this please contact any designated office. 9. What happens if benefit/reduction doesn t cover all my rent or Council Tax? If you are likely to suffer hardship because benefit does not cover your charges in full, you can ask a designated office for a form to apply for a Discretionary Housing Payment. We will look carefully at your personal and financial circumstances and decide whether to pay you an additional payment for a fixed period of time. We have a very limited amount of money to use for this purpose. 10. Can I get any other benefits? If you are on a low income you may, if you satisfy certain rules, be entitled to other benefits. There are various benefits, which make sure everyone has a reasonable level of income and the Council would encourage you to apply for these if you are entitled. If you would like more information on the benefits and other entitlements available please ask at any designated office for a copy of our guide entitled An Essential Guide to Benefits, Money Advice, Energy Advice and other Entitlements or contact our Customer Income Maximisation Team by ing: or telephone Employment Support Allowance If you and your partner are both entitled to Employment Support Allowance please contact The Operations Team so we can advise you about who should make the claim to ensure you receive your full entitlement for Housing Benefit/Council Tax Reduction. 11. What should I do if my circumstances change? It is very important that you tell the designated office about any changes right away as these may affect the amount of benefit/reduction you are getting. If you are late in reporting a change which results in less entitlement, you will have to repay any overpaid amount. If the change results in more benefit, you may actually lose benefit if you are late in reporting this. If you know about changes in your circumstances that are going to happen in the future, let a designated office know about them now. You must tell the designated office about any changes in writing giving details of the change and the date of the change. You must also try to send a designated office any proof of the change. Some examples of changes which must be reported are: if the income or capital of any person in your household changes or stops; if you move house or move to a different room within the same house; if any person in your household starts work or changes their job; if any person joins or leaves your household; if a dependant child leaves school or Child Benefit stops; or if you are absent from your home for any reason e.g. hospital, nursing home or prison. 12. Safeguarding the Housing Benefit and Council Tax system. The Highland Council would like to make sure that our customers receive the correct amount of benefit/reduction and that no one is claiming entitlement they are not due. If you know of anyone who is abusing these systems you can telephone our fraud hotline, Freephone number , or online at click F for fraud so that we can make further enquiries. You will not be asked to give your name and your call will be treated in the strictest confidence. 13. Advice and Assistance: Designated Offices The Council has a network of Service Points which are designated offices. You can contact any of these offices if you need help to complete your form or report a change in your circumstances. A list of our designated offices can be found on our website at Alternatively you can telephone The Operations Team on Visiting Services If you are frail, elderly or vulnerable and are unable to attend one of the Council s Service Points, our Visiting Officers are available to visit you in your home to provide Guidance tes Page III

6 advice and assistance with claiming Housing Benefit, Council Tax Discounts, Reductions and Exemptions. Please or telephone Customer Income Maximisation Our Customer Income Maximisation Team can advise you about all of the benefits and other entitlements available e.g. Pension Credit, Tax Credit, Disability Living Allowance, Attendance Allowance and Disabled Parking Blue Badge Scheme, Housing Benefit and Council Tax Discounts, Reductions and Exemptions. If you are frail, elderly or vulnerable and are unable to attend the Council s Service Point we can complete the relevant forms on your behalf. Contact us by ing: or telephone Money Advice and Voluntary Agencies If you are having difficulty paying and are worried about your finances, please contact our free, confidential and impartial Money Advice Service by ing: or by telephoning Alternatively, you may wish to contact your local Citizens Advice Bureau. Correspondence is treated in the strictest confidence. Inverness Badenoch and Strathspey Citizens Advice Bureau (01463) Caithness Citizens Advice Bureau (01847) East Sutherland Citizens Advice Bureau (01408) Lochaber Citizens Advice Bureau (01397) Nairn Citizens Advice Bureau (01667) rth West Sutherland Citizens Advice Bureau (01971) Ross & Cromarty Citizens Advice Bureau (01349) Skye & Lochalsh Citizens Advice Bureau (01478) What happens if I need care overnight? If you or your partner need to receive care overnight you may receive more Housing Benefit. The qualifying benefits for this are Attendance Allowance, Disability Living Allowance Care Component at the middle or high rates or a Personal Independence Payment at the Daily Living Component. The carers must not be a member of your family, or normally resident in your home. Your home must also have a bedroom available for the carer to use overnight. Please complete Housing Benefit Size Criteria Application for an additional bedroom for an overnight carer. Forms can be downloaded from the Highland Council website B Benefits Housing and Council Tax or available at your local Service Point. 15. Social Sector Size Criteria From 1 April 2013, working age tenants living in housing provided by the Council or other social landlords will be subject to the Department for Work and Pensions Social Sector Size Criteria rules. These rules mean that if you are a tenant in a house provided by the Council or other social landlord, e.g. a housing association, the amount of benefit you receive will depend upon the number of bedrooms the Department for Work and Pensions considers you require, your income and any savings you may have. The Department for Work and Pensions rules mean that one bedroom will be allowed for each of the following: a couple; any other adult aged 16 years and over; two children of the same gender aged under 16 years; two children who are under ten years and are not the same gender; any other child (other than a child whose main home is elsewhere); a carer (or group of carers) providing overnight care. These new rules affect working age tenants. If you are a pensioner, these rules do not affect you. For more information and advice please contact your housing provider. 16. Benefit Cap A maximum amount of benefit that a household, defined as an individual, their partner, and any children they are responsible for and who live with them, can be entitled to. This will apply to the combined income from the main out-of-work benefits, plus Housing Benefit, Child Benefit and Child Tax Credits. The cap will be: 350 per week for single adults. 500 per week for couples and lone parents. The following households will be exempt from the cap: Those entitled to Working Tax Credit. Those in receipt of Disability Living Allowance/ Personal Independence Payment, Attendance Allowance, the support component of Employment and Support Allowance, Industrial Injuries Benefit or War Widows and War Widowers pension. Guidance tes Page IIII

7 About you and your partner - continued A YOU n If you have lived at this address for less than 2 years, give your previous address. PARTNER Previous Address Postcode Dates you lived there to to n At the above address state if you were a home owner, tenant or a boarder. n Did you claim Housing Benefit or Council Tax Reduction there? If, from which Council? n Have you been incapable of work for more than 26 weeks because of illness or disability? n Are you registered blind? If, give registration number. n Does anyone get Invalid Care Allowance for looking after you? If, tell us who receives it and provide proof of this. Name Address n Have you or your partner been in residential care or in hospital as an inpatient in the last 52 weeks? If, give the date you went into hospital or residential care and the date you left/expect to leave, if known. In date: (Expected) In date: (Expected) Out date: Out date: Give name and address of hospital or residential home. n Are you in prison? If, state where. What date were you imprisoned? Give expected release date. 3

8 Children you or your partner are responsible for B Do you have at least one dependant child living in your home on a permanent basis and receiving Child Benefit? If go to section C. Otherwise, please complete every box for each dependant child. If there are more than 4 children, please give their details in Section K extra information. We must see proof of the child benefit you receive. e.g a bank statement showing the payment. You must let us know when the child benefit stops. Surname 1 st child 2 nd child 3rd child 4 th CHILD First name(s) Date of birth n What relationship are they to you? n Do these children live with you? n If any children are over 15, give the expected date they will leave school, if known. n Are any of these children fostered by you? n Are any of these children registered blind? n Do any of these children get Disability Living Allowance? If, state whether they get mobility, care or both components. Please state weekly amount. n Do any of these children get Education Maintenance Allowance? Please state weekly amount. n Do you pay childcare costs for any of these children? If we will send you another form to complete so that you can provide the designated office with more information. Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA) This is for young adults aged in full time education. Please tick this box if you wish The Highland Council to send you more information about this. Highland Instrumental Unit (HIU) If you have children at school and you wish to find out more information about Highland Council providing instrumental tuition in schools and how you may qualify for exemption from these fees please tick this box. Clothing Grant and/or Free School Meals If you or your partner are in receipt of Income Support, Job Seekers Allowance (Income Based), Employment Support Allowance (Income Related) or Pension Credit (Guarantee Credit) or Child Tax Credit (not Working Tax Credit) and an income below 15,860 (as assessed by the Inland Revenue) or Child Tax Credit and Working Tax Credit, and an income below 6,420 (as assessed by the Inland Revenue) and you have children at school, they may be entitled to a Clothing Grant and/or Free School Meals. Please tick this box if you want The Highland Council to send you more information about this. 4

9 Other people who live in your home C Apart from you, your partner and any children shown in Section B, does anyone else live in your home? If, go to Section D. If, please list everyone else who lives in your home, including relatives, lodgers and friends. Include all older children who you no longer get Child Benefit for. Complete every box for each person. Where specified please provide proof of income for all people shown below, as you may in certain circumstances be entitled to more benefit. They may if they wish send proof directly to a designated office. If there are more than 4 other people, please give their details in Section K extra information. Surname 1 st person 2 nd person 3rd person 4 th person First name(s) Date of birth Relationship to you National Insurance number LETTERS / NUMBERS / LETTER LETTERS / NUMBERS / LETTER LETTERS / NUMBERS / LETTER LETTERS / NUMBERS / LETTER n Are any of these people a joint tenant or a joint owner with you? n Do they pay you or your partner rent? If, does this include money for meals? n Do they work 16 hours or more each week? If, state their earnings each week before tax and National Insurance are taken off and provide proof or you may receive less benefit. n Do they receive Income Support, Pension Credit (Guarantee Credit), Jobseeker s Allowance (Income based) or Employment Support Allowance (Income Related)? n Do they receive Disability Living Allowance - Care Component? Lower Middle Higher n Do they receive a Personal Independence Payment Daily Living Component? Standard Enhanced n Do they receive a Personal Independence Payment Mobility Component? Standard Enhanced n Do they receive Attendance Allowance? n Do they receive Education Maintenance Allowance? 5 Continued overleaf..

10 Other people who live in your home - continued C Please remember to complete every box for each person and where specified provide proof of income. We may contact you for further information. n Enter each person s full name in same order as previous page. n Do they get other state benefits? If, state the benefit and the weekly amounts paid before any deductions. 1 st person 2 nd person 3 rd person 4 th person n Do they get any other income not already declared? If, state types of income and amounts received each week and provide proof. n If they are working what was their interest from savings in the last 12 months? (provide proof, for example bank statements) n Are they a student or on a training scheme? Provide proof. n Are they severely mentally impaired? n Are they in hospital? If, give the date they went into hospital. n Are they in prison? If, give the date they went into prison. n Are any of these people married to each other or living together as if they are married? If, please state the couple s names here. 6 is the partner of is the partner of

11 Your and your partner s earnings D Part 1 - Employment Details. If you or your partner have more than two jobs provide all details for additional employer s in Section K. YOU PARTNER n Are you self-employed? If we will send you another form to complete so that you can provide the designated office with more information. w go to next page. If answer each question on this page. n Are you currently in paid or unpaid work? If please go to Part 2 of this section on the next page. If state employer s name and address and answer each question on this page. n Date you started this job. n If you are on a fixed term contract, give the date the job ends. n What kind of work do you do? n Payroll or employee number. n How often are you paid? Weekly Monthly Weekly Monthly If Other please state how often you are paid. Fortnightly Unpaid Fortnightly Unpaid 4 Weekly Other 4 Weekly Other If Unpaid please provide a letter from your employer confirming this. n What is your normal take home pay? n How are your earnings paid - by cheque, cash, direct to bank account or some other method? Please provide proof. n How many hours do you work each week? n Are you receiving: Statutory Sick Pay (SSP); Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP); Statutory Paternity Pay (SPP); or Statutory Adoption Pay (SAP); Please provide proof. SSP SMP SSP SMP SPP SAP SPP SAP ne of ne of the above the above Give date this started. What date do you expect to return to work? n Date that next pay increase is expected. 7 Continued overleaf...

12 Your and your partner s earnings - continued D YOU PARTNER n Do you receive commission or a bonus? If, state how much and provide proof. n Do you pay into a pension scheme? Company pension Company Pension If you pay into a private or stakeholder pension state the amount you pay and provide proof of the last two month s payments. n Do you have more than one job? Private or Stakeholder pension Private or Stakeholder pension each each If, enter below employer s name and address for second job. Please use Section K to tell the designated office about any other employment. Name of Employer 2 Address You must provide a designated office with your last 5 weekly, 3 fortnightly or 2 monthly payslips. If you can not provide payslips, contact a designated office and we will give you a form for your employer to complete. Please note, if you fail to provide proof of earnings when submitting your claim we will contact your employer to obtain the information. n Do you receive Education Maintenance Allowance? Please state weekly amount. Part 2 - Redundancy Details YOU PARTNER n Have you been made redundant in the last 2 years? If go to Section E. If answer the following questions. n Do you receive mortgage, loan or income protection? If state the amount you receive, the date of the first payment and provide proof. First payment date: First payment date: n State the date you were made redundant. n Did you receive a redundancy payment? If state the amount you received and when it was paid and provide proof. Date paid: Date paid: Remember to sign the declaration on page 18 and return this form within one calendar month of the issue date. 8

13 Other income Occupational pension, work pension, private pension and superannuation pension Occupational Pension schemes are work pensions that are set up by employers to provide income in retirement for their employees. n Do you get or have you delayed YOU PARTNER getting one or more occupational, work, private or superannuation pensions? If, please go to the section below headed Annuities. If, please complete this section stating who pays each pension and how much you receive after tax. You must provide the designated office with your last two pension advice slips or your latest two bank statements showing payments. If you are receiving a pension from The Highland Council, you must tell us about it. n Name and address of pension provider. E n How much do you receive after tax? n What date is the next increase due? n Do you receive more than one pension? If you must provide the same information for each pension you receive using Section K extra information. n If you have delayed getting a pension, when is it due to be paid? Annuities An Annuity is an investment that provides a regular income. n Do you get income from an annuity? If go to section below headed State Pensions. If tell the designated office who pays the annuity and provide proof. n Do you get more than one annuity? If you must give the designated office details of all other annuities in Section K extra information. State Pensions Do you receive any of the following pensions? If please enter amount before any deductions and state how often they are paid, e.g. weekly, fortnightly, 4 weekly or monthly. Please tick either or box on each line. You must provide proof for each pension, for example a social security letter of award or your last two bank statements showing payments. YOU PARTNER n Retirement Pension n Widow s Pension n War Widow s Pension n War Disablement Pension 9 Continued overleaf..

14 Other income - continued E Benefits and Allowances Do you receive any of the following? If please enter the amount before any deductions and state how often they are paid, e.g. weekly, fortnightly, 4 weekly or monthly. You must tick either the or box on each line. Where specified you must provide a designated office with proof for each benefit or allowance, for example your DWP award letter or your last two bank statements showing payments. n Income Support n Universal Credit n Employment Support Allowance (Income related) n Employment Support Allowance (Contribution) n Pension Credit (Guarantee Credit) n Pension Credit (Savings Credit only) n Jobseeker s Allowance (Income based) n Jobseeker s Allowance (Contribution based) YOU PARTNER n At which Jobcentre Plus do you sign on? n Child Tax Credit n Working Tax Credit n Incapacity Benefit: short-term lower short-term higher long-term n Attendance Allowance Provide proof for the following Benefits n Widowed Mother s or Widowed Parent s Allowance n Child Benefit n Maternity Allowance n Fostering Allowance n Guardian s Allowance n Return to Work Credit n Self-Employment Credit n Industrial Death Benefit n Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit n Bereavement Allowance 10

15 Other income - continued E Benefits, Allowances and other sources of income Please remember to tick either the or box on every line and answer every question. You must provide a designated office with proof for each benefit, allowance or other source of income on this page apart from Disability Living Allowance or Personal Independence Payment. n Please tell us if you or your partner are receiving a Personal Independence Payment, an Armed Forces Independence Payment, Disability Living Allowance, by stating the amount and component you receive and how often. If you do not receive any of these benefits state in the box below. Your award letter will give you this information. Benefit Name Component Amount How often If you receive any of the benefits, allowances or other sources of income below you must provide a designated office with proof. n Do you have a motobility car? n Care Allowance n Severe Disablement Allowance n Training Allowance n Maintenance payments you receive n Income from letting a room or property n Payments from a charity n Do you have any other income not already declared? If, please give details. n Have you claimed Invalid Care Allowance but are not getting it because you get another benefit? If, please provide proof of this. n Have you applied for any other benefits or income but have not yet received them? If, please tell a designated office which benefits or income and the date you applied for them. Benefit or income Benefit or income Date applied for Date applied for Benefit or income Benefit or income Date applied for 11 Date applied for

16 Capital - cash, savings, property, land and investments F Do you have any of the following? Answer either or to each question. If, enter the amount currently held even if under 10,000. You must provide recent proof of your own and your partner s savings, property, land and investments if the total value is 6000 or over if you are under 60 or 10,000 or over if you are 60 or over. Please refer to the checklist at Section L to find out what we will accept as proof. If you do not have enough space for all your capital details, please use Section K. YOU PARTNER Total held Total held n Cash savings n Current account n Deposit account n Building Society account n Post Office or Giro account n Lump sum payment of State Pension Please give any bank, building society and post office details below. Name of bank, Name of Type of account Account numbers building society or post office account holder(s) n Income Investment Bonds n Premium Bonds n National Savings Bonds Total held Total held n National Savings Certificates Please give Income or Investment Bonds, Premium Bonds, National Savings Bonds, National Savings Certificate details below. Type of Bond or Certificate Date of purchase Number of units held Issue number n Stocks, Sharesave, Shares or Unit Trusts Total held Total held Please give any Stocks and Shares details below. Name of company Number of stocks Name of company Number of stocks or shares held or shares held 12 Continued overleaf..

17 Capital - cash, savings, property, land and investments - cont. F You must provide recent proof of your own and your partners savings, property, land and investments if the total value is 6,000 or over if you are under 60 or 10,000 or over if you are 60 or over. n Do you or your partner have an ISA? If, give details. n Do you or your partner own any property, timeshare or land in this country or abroad other than the house you live in? If, give address of the properties or land and provide proof of ownership. n Estimated value of this asset We may contact you for more information n Do you or your partner have any other cash, savings or investments, or money owing to you which you have not already declared? If, give details. If you have more than one capital asset, we need the same details for each asset. If you do not have enough space use Section K. Money paid out G Do you or your partner help to support any of your children who are full-time students attending college or university? If, go to Section H. If, state how much you contribute annually and provide the students award letter with this form. Students H If you have already provided all of this information for Council Tax purposes you will not have to provide it again. Full time students can only get Housing Benefit in special cases. Please contact the Operations Team if you would like more information. YOU PARTNER n Are you a Student or Student Nurse? If, go to Section I. If, complete the questions below and provide proof with this form unless you have already provided all of this information for Council Tax purposes. n Are you a full-time or a part-time student? Full time Part time Full time Part time n Is your course under the New Deal? n Give start and end date of current year. n If you receive a student loan, bursary or grant, insert amount. Start End Start End Loan Bursary Grant Loan Bursary Grant 13

18 Private rent details I You should only fill in this section if you pay rent to a landlord other than The Highland Council. If you are a Council tenant or an owner occupier, go to Section J. You must provide a designated office with your signed tenancy agreement or other written evidence of your rental agreement from your landlord or landlord s agent. n Give the date your tenancy started. Landlord s Surname Landlord s first name Address If your landlord has an agent acting on their behalf please complete the agent s name, address and telephone number as well as the landlord s details. Agent s Surname Agent s first name Address Business address if different from above Telephone number address Business address if different from above Telephone number address n Who owns the property you live in? n Are you, your partner or any of your children related to the owner or the owners partner? If, say what the relationship is. n Are you or your partner related to your landlord or your landlord s partner? If, say what the relationship is. n Are any of your children related to your landlord or your landlord s partner? If, say what the relationship is. n Do you or your partner live in the same property as your landlord? n Have you or your partner previously applied for Housing Benefit at this address? n Was your last tenancy with the same landlord? n Do you or your partner have a written tenancy agreement? n Has your rent been registered as a fair rent by the Rent Officer? Don t know n What amount of rent are you liable to pay? each n How often do you or your partner pay rent? Weekly 4-Weekly Calendar monthly Other If Other, state frequency. n Do you have any rent free weeks? If give details n State who you make your rent payments to? 14 Continued overleaf..

19 Private rent details - continued I n Are you a joint tenant? If, please give the names of all other joint tenants and state how much your share of the rent is. every n How do you pay your rent? Direct Debit Cash Cheque Standing Order Other If Other, give details. n Are you in arrears with your rent? If, how much? If your rent includes money for any of the following, tick either the or box, fill in the amount you pay and state how often you pay it. n Does your rent include money for: Don t know State Amount (if known) Heating each Lighting each Hot water each Cooking facilities each Laundry facilities each General counselling and support each (see Guidance te 3) Cleaning each Emergency alarms each Water and sewerage each Other services (give details below) each each each n What type of tenancy do you have? Regulated Assured Short Don t Other Assured Know If Other, give details. n Is your accommodation centrally heated? n Do you have a garage attached to the house? n Is your tenancy for a set period of time? If, state when your tenancy ends. n Is your accommodation let as: Fully furnished Partly furnished Unfurnished n Who is responsible for internal decoration? Me Landlord Don t know n Are any meals provided? If, tick each box that applies Breakfast Lunch Evening meal All meals 15 Continued overleaf..

20 Private rent details - continued I Please remember to answer every question n Tick each box which best describes your accommodation. Detached house Semi-detached house Terraced house Detached bungalow Semi-detached bungalow Terraced bungalow Detached cottage Semi-detached cottage Terraced cottage Tenement flat Flat over commercial Flat in house premises Hostel Static caravan Touring caravan Room Other If Other, give details. n Do you have any of the following, please tick each box that applies. Garage Garden Car Parking (off road) n State number of floors in the whole building including ground floor. n Tick which floor(s) your accommodation is on? Ground 1 st floor 2 nd floor 3 rd floor 4 th floor All n If you live in a single room, which part of the property do you live in? Front Middle Back What is your room number? Living rooms Bedrooms as stated on your lease Bed-sitting rooms Kitchens Bathrooms Separate toilets Other rooms Please specify other rooms State number of rooms State number of rooms used State number of rooms shared in whole building only by you or your family with your landlord or others n If you share one bedroom or bed-sitting room, please state the number of people sharing that room and give their names. Number sharing Names 16

21 Private rent details - continued I Sharing Information with your Landlord Sharing information with your private landlord could help the Operations Team deal with your claim more quickly and reduce the risk of you falling behind with your rent because of your claim being delayed. We may need to confirm information with your landlord before we can make a decision on your claim, for example, the start date of your tenancy. In these circumstances, we can contact your landlord without your permission. Under the Data Protection Act 1998 we need your permission to discuss anything else. If you give your permission, we would be able to tell your landlord whether: n you have claimed Housing Benefit; or n we have made a decision on your claim; or n we need more information to make a decision on your claim, and what that information may be. We will not give your landlord any information about: n your personal or household circumstances; or n your financial circumstances. You can withdraw your permission at any time. It will not affect your claim if you do not give your permission to discuss your claim with your landlord. If you want to give your permission to discuss your claim with your landlord, please sign below. I give The Highland Council s designated offices permission to share information about the progress of my Housing Benefit claim with my landlord or their representative. Signature Date Full name and address of landlord/ representative (in CAPITAL LETTERS) Postcode Direct Payments to Landlords - Their Responsibilities If your Housing Benefit is to be paid directly to your landlord, you must ask him/her to read and sign the statement below. If your tenant s Housing Benefit can be and is paid directly to you, you must agree to inform The Highland Council s designated offices immediately you are aware of any changes in your tenant s circumstances, e.g. if your tenant moves out of the property, even if still liable for rent. We expect you to make regular checks to confirm that your tenant is still living at the property where you are receiving Housing Benefit payments. Landlord s Signature Date Remember to sign the declaration on page 18 and return the form within one calendar month of the issue date. 17 Continued overleaf..

22 Payment of Housing Benefit into Bank/Building Society accounts If you are entitled to Housing Benefit, we will pay it straight into your Bank or Building Society Account. Please give a designated office your Bank or Building Society details below; Bank or Building Society name and address Account Holders Name Account Number Sort Code - - Declaration - all applicants must complete this section J Please read this declaration carefully before you sign and date it. Warning: It is an offence to give false information. If someone has completed this form on your behalf, you must make sure that it has been read back to you in full and you understand everything before you sign the declaration. In the case of a couple, only the claimant must sign the form below. This is my claim for Housing Benefit, Council Tax Reduction, Second Adult Rebate. I declare that the information I have given on this form is correct and complete. I have read and understood the guidance notes included with this form. I authorise the Council to check the information I have given and make any necessary enquiries to verify the information on this form and retain a copy. I understand that the information that I have given on this form may be held electronically and may be shared with other Council Services and relevant agencies, or used when considering a discretionary housing payment. I understand that if I give information that is wrong or not complete or fail to report a change which may affect my benefit/reduction I may be prosecuted. See Guidance te 11 for examples of changes in circumstances. Claimant s signature Date Remember to complete the checklist on page 20 and return this form as quickly as possible. This section must be completed if the claim form has been filled in by someone else on your behalf. This includes voluntary organisations, an appointee, relative, friend or representative of the Council. Please print the name of the person who completed the form Their address Their telephone number address Relationship to claimant or partner if any Please give the reason why the claimant was unable to complete the form I declare that I have filled in this form for the person(s) named above in accordance with their instructions and have read this back to them in full before they signed the declaration. Signature of person Date completing form 18

23 Extra information K Use this section to give information that may help a designated office work out your benefit. State which page number and section your notes relate to. Continue on a separate sheet if necessary. Equal Opportunities Statement The Council is committed to fulfilling its duties to promote equality and to tackle discrimination and disadvantage - as an employer, in providing public services, in community leadership and partnership working. We aim to ensure our employment and recruitment practices are fair and that our services are accessible, and we will work to ensure that no-one is disadvantaged because of their age, disability, faith, gender, race, sexual orientation or social background. How we collect and use information We will use the information you give in this form and any supporting proof you send the designated office, to process your claim for Housing Benefit, Council Tax Reduction, Second Adult Rebate and the Scottish Welfare Fund. The Highland Council is under a duty to protect the public funds it administers, and to this end may use the information you have provided on this form for the prevention and detection of fraud and to make sure that the information is accurate. We may also share this information with other Council Services, Agencies, Organisations, Local Authorities, Government Departments and other bodies responsible for auditing or administering public funds. We will not give information about you to anyone else, or use information about you for other purposes, unless the law allows us to. The Highland Council is the data controller for the purposes of the Data Protection Act If you want to know more about what information we have about you or the way we use that information, you can or write to the Information Manager, Chief Executive s Office, The Highland Council, Glenurquhart Road, Inverness, IV3 5NX. The Council would like to make sure you are claiming all the benefits to which you are entitled and we may use the information given to check if you are due other state benefits. If you do not wish it to be used for this purpose, please tick this box. 19

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