Help with your council tax

If you pay council tax to Fylde Council and have savings less than £16,000 you can apply to us for help.

Apply here

Help with your rent

If you pay rent and have savings less than £16,000 you can apply for help with your rent to Universal Credit.

Universal Credit is only paid from the date the DWP receive your claimso you should apply straight away.

If you apply to Fylde Council for help with your rent when you should have applied to the DWP for Universal Credit you will lose money as the DWP will not backdate your claim.

You should only apply to Fylde Council for help with your rent if:

  • You are a pensioner (and your partner if you have one is a pensioner), or
  • You live in a hostel, refuge, sheltered housing or a supported living complex
  • And you pay rent in the Fylde Council area

Fylde Council can only deal with claims for help with rent for the people listed above.

If this is not you it is important that you apply to Universal Credit for help with your rent.

Once you start your claim you should keep a note of your form reference number beginning FYL (e.g. FYL9999) should you need to contact us about your claim.

If you are already receiving housing benefit from us and you move home within Fylde use this form to let us know.

If you have an enquiry you can email benefits@fylde.gov.uk. You could also contact us by post or make an appointment.

Accessing your benefits online

You can now access your housing benefit entitlement details plus your payment details as soon as they have been produced by going online and registering for the Benefits service.

Please note if you choose to do this you must also register for eNotifications at the same time. This will ensure you receive an email whenever a change is made to your claim. You will also then be able to view all correspondence issued to you via our online service.

If you need to contact the Benefits service please call 01253 658 658 or email benefits@fylde.gov.uk.

The Council wants everyone who would qualify for Housing Benefit and/or Council Tax Reduction to claim the help they are entitled to receive. Help is available for anyone who needs assistance with making a claim. It is important to claim straight away as any delay may result in the loss of benefit.

If your circumstances change, you should tell us about the changes as soon as possible. If you do not tell us about a change of circumstances within one calendar month of the change, you could be losing out – the change could cause an increase in your benefit.

Similarly, if you do not tell us about changes in your circumstances you may have to repay any benefit which you should not have received.

Examples of changes we need to be told about:

  • a change to where you live
  • a change in who lives with you
  • a change in the income they get
  • a change to your wages
  • a change in your private pension
  • a change in any other income,
  • a change in the amount of rent you pay
  • if you start or stop receiving Income Support or Jobseekers Allowance
  • if you start or stop receiving any other benefit,
  • a change in your capital such as savings and investment
  • if you temporarily live away from home 

Please note that these are only examples of changes you need to tell us about. If you’re unsure whether a change will affect your benefit – tell us anyway.

By clicking on the above links you will be taken to Fylde Council’s reporting section. My Council Services is a secure service that allows access to a number of online Fylde Council services at your convenience

If you are a private tenant, Local Housing Allowance (LHA) rates will be used to work out your maximum Housing Benefit.

The amount of benefit you get depends on the number of people in your household and the number of bedrooms you need.

 Shared1 Bed2 Bed3 Bed4 Bed5 Bed
Central Lancs
£66.50
£90.90
£115.07
£132.33
£182.96
£182.96
Fylde Coast
£65.00
£85.00
£114.61
£132.33
£150.00
£150.00

Working out your LHA rate

The shared rate shown above applies to you if:

  • You are one of a couple, don’t live with dependants and rent a room in a shared home
  • You are 34 years or younger and live alone (there are exemptions for severely disabled people, care leavers under 22 years of  age or those with a bedroom used by care workers providing overnight care)
  • You are 35 years or over and rent a room for your sole use in a shared home

If the shared rate does not apply to you use the LHA bedroom calculator to work out how many bedrooms you are eligible for based on your circumstances.

Further Information

Differences between your rate and your LHA rate

If the rent you are charged is less than the local housing rate that applies to you the maximum amount of benefit you can possibly receive is the amount of rent you are charged.

If the rent you are charged is more than the Local Housing rate that applies to you the maximum amount of benefit you can possibly receive is your local housing allowance rate.

Changes to your rate

LHA rates can change from 1 April each year.

After the 1 April your rate will not be reviewed or change unless you have a change of circumstance mid year that would affect the LHA rate applicable to you such as a new child joining the household or a non dependent moving in.

Payment

If you are in receipt of local housing allowance your benefit will be paid directly to you straight into your bank account.

Your payments will be issued fortnightly. Please be aware that we cannot make payments into a post office card account.

If you are unable to receive direct payments

If you feel unable to accept the responsibility of direct payments due to personal circumstances we may be able to consider making future payments directly to your landlord.

There are many reasons why a person may feel unable to manage their own financial affairs for example:

  • Medical conditions
  • Learning disabilities
  • Addiction to drugs or alcohol
  • Previous homelessness or debt problems

It is our aim to ensure that vulnerable people with genuine problems are offered the support they need and we advise anyone who feels unable to manage their own affairs to contact us by email at benefits@fylde.gov.uk requesting direct landlord payments.

Please use ‘Direct payment to landlord’ as the subject for your email.

In order for us to reach a decision regarding who to send payments to, you will need to send supporting evidence with your request. We will consider evidence from a range of sources such as:

  • Your GP
  • Social/support worker
  • Citizens Advice Bureau
  • Plus many more

Advisors at The Citizen’s Advice Bureau will be able to offer you free, impartial advice on all benefit and direct payment related issues. They can be contacted by telephone 08444 994112.

Discretionary Housing Payments are payments that the Council may be able to make to give you further assistance towards your housing costs.

To qualify for Discretionary Housing Payments you must be in receipt of Housing Benefit or the Housing element of Universal Credit and require further assistance in order to meet your housing costs.

Click here to apply.

There is no list covering every situation that will be allowed a Discretionary Housing Payment and each application will be considered on its own merits.

Below are some examples of when a Discretionary Housing Payment may be made:

  • A pregnant women, close to the due date moves into a property more suitable for herself and her child. The LHA rate is restricted or the Rent Officer restricts the rent because the property is considered too large for one person until the baby is born.
  • A disabled person lives in a ground floor flat near to a clinic they attend for therapy. They could get a cheaper flat, but it would mean higher transport costs they can’t afford.
  • A family has a child who is undergoing prolonged hospital treatment. The family used to live some miles away from the hospital but have moved nearer so that the child can be visited.

Universal Credit is a new benefit for working age people who are out of work or on a low income.

It is run by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and replaces the following six main working age benefits with a single monthly payment:

  • Income Based Job Seekers Allowance
  • Income Related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Income Support
  • Working Tax Credit
  • Child Tax Credit
  • Housing Benefit

Universal Credit will be paid directly into your bank account each month. Any help you get with your rent will be included in your monthly Universal Credit payment so you will be responsible for paying your rent to your landlord.

You should only apply to Fylde Council for help with your rent if:

  • You are a pensioner (and your partner if you have one is a pensioner), or
  • You live in a hostel, refuge, sheltered housing or a supported living complex
  • And you pay rent in the Fylde Council area

Customers who need help with their council tax should continue to make their claim to the Council.

You can find out more information and search for popular terms on the central government website.

Help to apply

Universal Credit is administered online; you will need to use the internet to make and manage your claim and to search for jobs.

Citizens Advice can support you to make a new claim for Universal Credit from opening your account to receiving your first full payment.

If you prefer to receive help over the phone you can telephone 0800 144 8444

Council tax

Universal Credit does not include help towards your Council tax, you should apply to the Council as soon as possible by clicking here.

Please note that Fylde Council are not part of the application process for Universal Credit. The process is all online by using the link above. If you have any issues please phone the Universal Credit helpline on 0800 328 5644. They are available Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm.

Landlords and agents are important stakeholders in the service we provide. We want to work closely with landlords and agents to ensure that they receive payment promptly and that overpayments are minimised.

In return we ask landlords and agents to respect our obligations toward claimant confidentiality and the Data Protection Act when they make enquiries about their tenants. A tenant does not need to tell you that they have claimed benefit. We can only discuss a benefit claim with a landlord if the tenant has given his or her permission for this to be done.

Self Service Module for Landlords

There is now an online service which, following registration, provides access to relevant data for Fylde landlords and will include the following:-

• View notifications on line
• Receive e-notifications instead of paper notifications
• Details of suspended cases
• Details of all payments made as soon as they have been generated
• The option to download/export payment details
• Relevant details of overpayment recovery on individual claims
• View relevant details of individual benefit entitlement for claims where payment is being made direct to the landlord
• View rent details/breakdown on which the claim is being based

Access to this should assist you by having up to date information readily available to you. You can register for this service online.

Contacting us

The quickest way to contact us is by email at benefits@fylde.gov.uk.

It will help us to respond to you more quickly if you include the reason for your email in the email subject. See the examples below:

  • Arrears
  • Change of address
  • Change in circumstances
  • Change of bank details
  • New claim
  • Overpayment enquiry
  • Discretionary Housing Payment
  • Appeal
  • Electronic payment schedules
  • Landlord self service portal

Please provide your name, the name of your tenant and their reference number in the email if possible and an explanation of what your query is about.

Tenant’s in rent arrears

If your tenant receives benefit payments direct and falls into arrears with their rent please email us as soon as you are aware there is a problem.

Please use ‘arrears’ as the email subject when you make your enquiry.  In some circumstances we may decide to make future payments of benefit directly to you.

We will require evidence of the rent arrears from you but until a decision is made by us we will try to ensure no further payments are made payable directly to the tenant. Evidence of arrears should be a rent account or rent book showing clearly the date rent due, amount received and accumulative arrears outstanding.

If the proof of arrears you supply is unsatisfactory we will advise you in writing.

To speed up the process please supply satisfactory proof of arrears when you first contact us.

Change in tenant’s circumstances

It is the duty of the landlord, as well as the tenant, to notify the council as soon as you are aware of a change in your tenant’s circumstances.

You must tell us as soon as your tenant leaves the property.

It is important that you also tell us about any other changes as soon as possible so that we do not pay you or your tenant too much benefit. If you are overpaid we will ask you to pay the money back.

Below are examples of changes you should tell us about if you become aware of them.

  • If your tenant starts work or changes/loses their job
  • If there is a change to your tenant’s household, for example if they have a baby or a partner moves out
  • If your tenant moves, this includes into a different flat within the same building
  • If your tenant goes into a rest home or hospital
  • If your tenant is temporarily absent from their home.

Once you have notified us of the change we will contact your tenant for more detailed information, such as the date the change occurred. In some cases a new application may be required and we will advise your tenant if this is necessary.

We may need to suspend a benefit claim due to a change in circumstance. As long as we have the tenants authorisation to share information with their landlord we will inform you in writing when their case has been suspended.

Click here to report your tenant’s change in circumstances.

What are you able to tell me about my tenant’s housing benefit claim?

If your tenant has signed the section of the Housing Benefit application form ‘Sharing Information with your landlord’ we will be able to discuss the progress of your tenant’s claim with you. If the tenant gives us permission we will be able to tell you, for example, whether:

  • They have claimed Housing Benefit
  • We have made a decision on their claim
  • We have made a payment to the tenant
  • We need more information for their claim and what that information is.

We will however not be able to tell you anything about your tenants:

  • Personal household circumstances or
  • Financial circumstances

Please be aware that a tenant can withdraw their permission for us to share information with you at any time during their claim.

If a tenant would like to give us permission to share information with their landlord after their claim has been processed they can complete a “sharing information with your landlord” form which they must sign and return to us.