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Apply for Housing Benefit

Housing Benefit has been replaced by Universal Credit and is no longer available for most people. This is because Universal Credit includes a housing element.

To make sure that you apply for the correct support, please read the following three statements and check if any of them apply to you:

  • you live in certain supported accommodation or temporary accommodation
  • you’ve reached State Pension age
  • you’re part of a couple where one of you has reached State Pension Age and are receiving Pension Credit

If at least one of these 3 statements apply, you need to apply below for Housing Benefit and/or Council Tax Support.

If none of the 3 statements apply, you need to apply for Universal Credit but if you also need help in paying your Council Tax bill, you must also apply online.

Apply online for Housing Benefit and Council Tax support

We prefer that you apply for Housing Benefit and Council Tax Support online. This speeds things up, saves public money and frees up time so we can support those who are unable to apply online.

Use the GOV.UK benefit calculators to find out what benefits you could get, how much you could get and how to claim. Please be aware this is an estimate based on the information you are entering and is not a guarantee of award.

How to apply

Before you apply you will need to know:

  • what benefits you already receive or have claimed
  • your National Insurance number
  • details of any outstanding benefit claims

For Bournemouth residents:

For Christchurch or Poole residents:

Self-employed assessment form

If you’re applying for Housing Benefit and you or your partner are self-employed, we normally need you to provide a current profit and loss account. We cannot calculate your income from receipts and or weekly/monthly income and expenditure records.

If you do not have a profit and loss account, please complete and then submit the form:

Change of circumstances

Let us know about a change in your circumstances, like changing address.

Standard reclaim

If you’re already claiming Housing Benefit and/or Council Tax Support and your Income Support, Job Seekers Allowance (Income Based), Employment and Support Allowance (Income Related) or Pension Credit (Guarantee) has ceased, please complete the following forms.

Bournemouth residents

Complete the online change of circumstances form.

Christchurch and Poole residents

Complete the standard reclaim application form.

Please provide supporting evidence for your claim straight away. Supporting evidence must be provided within one month of the date your form is received.

Recover a saved form

If you wish to recover a partially completed form, please note that we only keep partially completed forms for 30 days.

Evidence we can accept electronically

We can accept electronic evidence such as digital photos, scanned images and email documents to support new claims and changes in circumstances.

Evidence such as a tenancy agreement, certificate of rent, wage slips, earnings certificates, bank statements, Department for Works and Pension letters, self-employed accounts, utility bills, birth certificates for children can all be accepted electronically.

Scanned images must be clear and legible. Please ensure the original documents have not been tampered with or altered before being scanned.

If we have any doubts about the images we receive, we may still ask to see the original documents.

Where to send your evidence electronically

If you are a Bournemouth resident, please email Do not forget to provide your name, address, National Insurance number and/or a reference number in the subject line.

If you are a Christchurch or Poole resident, please complete the online form and attach your documents.

Original documents

You must send us the original documents being used as identification, and proof of a National Insurance number for either the claimant and/or partner, like a passport or driving licence.

How to get your original documents to us

If we need to see original documents, or if you do not want to send your documents to us electronically, you can post them to:

Revenues and Benefits Services
BCP Council Civic Centre
Bourne Avenue

Please contact us to make an appointment before going to a customer centre to drop in documents or for any help you need with online forms or evidence submission.

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