Claiming Benefits

Claiming Benefits

Information on how to claim benefits including an online calculator.

More information

How do I apply for help with my rent or council tax?

Claims for Universal Credit

Test Valley is now a Universal Credit Full Service area. If you are applying for (or already receiving) Universal Credit you will not receive Housing Benefit as well unless you fall into one of the categories below. You should receive a Housing Element payment for your rent which will be included in your Universal Credit payment. To make a claim for Universal Credit please go to 

You will need to apply to us for Council Tax Support if your name is on the Council Tax Bill - you can make your claim electronically (please refer to the section below ‘To make an online claim’)

You can claim Housing Benefit if one or more of the following applies:

  • You have reached the qualifying age for Pension Credit (to check your state pension age please visit )
  • You are living in temporary accommodation arranged for you by the Council
  • You are living in a property provided to you to receive care and support

If you have been advised that you cannot claim Universal Credit for your rent please telephone us on 01264 368000 for advice.

New Claims for Pension Credit
Please tell the Pension Service you wish to apply for Housing Benefit, your claim details will then be forwarded to the Council. We may need to contact you on receipt of the information you provide to the Pension Service for further details such as proof of your liability to pay rent. You will only need to apply to us for Council Tax Support - you can make your claim electronically (please refer to the section below ‘To make an online claim’)

Changing your Address
If you are currently receiving Housing Benefit and/or Council Tax Support from Test Valley Borough Council and are changing your address you still need to inform us. Please complete our online Change in Circumstances form. If you are moving outside the Test Valley Borough Council area you will need to check if the address you are moving to falls within a Universal Credit Full Service area. To find out if you need to apply for Universal Credit or Housing Benefit from the local Council at your new address you can check this on the following website

If you are already receiving Housing Benefit and/or Council Tax Support and you make a claim for another State benefit please contact us online here or telephone 01264 368000.

Making a New Claim for Housing Benefit and Council Tax Support

Please complete the benefit calculator first to find out if you are entitled, you can then complete the claim form (you will not need to enter your details again). Once you have your estimate, the quickest and easiest way to make a new claim is via our online claim form.

Information required to make a claim note: 

Please ensure you have the following information to hand:

• National Insurance number for you and your partner
• Your rent details including amount of rent, your landlord and any charges included in your rent, eg water or electricity. This information should be on your tenancy agreement
• Your household income, savings, investments and expenses, eg childcare costs, private pension contributions
• The full names and date of birth for all household members
• You will need to know your annual council tax liability if you are also claiming for Council Tax Support

To make an online claim

Once you start you will be guided through a series of questions. Please have the 'information required to make a claim' listed in the above paragraph to hand. You can save your claim and continue with it at a later date if you are unable to complete it in one go. You must complete all the questions, you can check this as you work on each page by clicking the ‘Show Errors’ button (at the top of the page). This will show you if you have missed any questions.

You will be given a unique reference number and asked for a password which you must remember. You will not be able to access your claim if you do not have your unique reference number and password. If you forget or lose them you will have to start a new claim from the beginning.

You will be given an online calculation of benefit. This is an estimated calculation based on the information you have provided.

Simply complete and submit the online form and provide evidence as requested. Please allow 14 days before contacting us regarding the progress of your claim.

Unable to Claim Online

If you are unable to complete the online claim form please telephone us on 01264 368000. We will be able to give you an estimate of benefit entitlement based on the income and capital details that you provide.

If it appears that you may qualify for benefit, you can ask for a Visiting Officer to come to your home to help you complete the application form and collect the information we require. This helps us to process your claim much quicker. 

Housing Benefit and Council Tax Support are means-tested benefits so evidence may be required regarding your identity, income and capital. We will advise you about this when you contact us.