Benefits FAQs

I cannot afford to pay my rent. What can I do?

You can apply for Universal Credit for help with your housing costs, unless:

For more information on Universal Credit and how to claim, visit GOV.UK - Universal Credit - what you'll get.

If you need to apply for Housing Benefit or you need help with your Council Tax payments, you can make a claim - see Benefits.

How often will my Housing Benefit be paid?

If you are a private tenant, your Benefit will normally be paid into your bank account. This is either 4 weekly or monthly in arrears. If you're a council tenant, your Benefit is credited to your rent account weekly.

I’m self-employed what information do I need to provide?

You need to send us your last audited accounts. If you don’t have these, we can send you a profit and loss declaration form. You need to list all your business income and expenses for the last 6 to 12 months, not just your self-assessment form.

I’m on a zero-hour contract and my earnings change. What do I need to provide?

You need to provide pay slips that cover a longer period, so we have an accurate estimate of your earnings, for example, the last 8 to 10 weeks if paid weekly or the last 3 months if paid monthly. If overtime is included, you should say if it is regular or occasional.

I am a student, what information do I need to provide?

You should provide your student finance letter and a breakdown of any maintenance grants you receive, for example, Parent Learning Allowance.

I work term-time, what do I need to do?

You should let us know your contractual arrangement, the hours worked and how often you receive your salary payments.

I’ve had a change in my circumstances. What do I need to do?

You should check for the changes you need to report - see Report a change in circumstances and email

You need to provide evidence of the change you are reporting, for example, payment for child care costs or the student status of your non-dependant.

This is our busiest time of year but we aim to deal with your change as soon as we can.

The change I reported has only increased my Benefit from now and not from when it happened. What can I do?

You have one month to tell us about a change. If you are late in reporting it, we increase your benefit from the Monday after the date you told us, unless there is a good reason why you couldn't tell us about the change earlier.

I do not agree with the amount of Housing Benefit I am receiving. What should I do?

You should check the information we have used to calculate your Benefit. If you think this is wrong, you should request a review of our decision by emailing We will look at your query quicker if you say what you think is wrong and you provide proof - see Appealing a Housing Benefit or Council Tax Support decision.

My award is not right because it’s not showing an allowance for all my children.

If you have more than 2 children and your benefit has been restricted to the 2-child limit, we can look at this again but you will need to provide the pages of your last Tax Credit award letter. If you are getting Child Tax Credit for more than 2 children, we can match this to your benefit award.

I’m receiving Universal Credit, what changes do I need to tell you about?

If you are receiving Council Tax Support, you’ll need to tell us if your Universal Credit ends and you’ll need to provide proof of your income and capital.

If you are on Universal Credit but still getting your rent paid by Housing Benefit, you will need to tell us if your Universal Credit claim stops. You do not need to tell us if the amount of your Universal Credit award changes as long as you continue to receive it.

If you are working and receiving Universal Credit, we use the earnings calculated by the Department for Work and Pensions - if you think this amount is incorrect you should contact them.

I cannot afford to pay my rent even though I am receiving Housing Benefit. What can I do?

You may be entitled to a Discretionary Housing payment. For further information and to make an application, see Discretionary Housing Payment.

I cannot afford to pay my Council Tax even though I receive Council Tax Support?

You may be entitled to a Council Tax Hardship payment. If you have applied for a Discretionary Housing Payment there is no need to apply for a Council Tax Hardship payment because we will automatically consider you for this. For further information and to make an application, see Discretionary Housing Payment.

I have received an eviction notice from my landlord. What should I do?

You should make a housing on-line application. You will need to provide your eviction notice details. See Homeless or at risk of homelessness.

Where can I get more information on services and help with my Council Tax?

By creating an Enfield Connected account, you can:

How can I contact the council?

You can contact us online, via web chat, by visiting our community hubs or telephone. See Contact us.

Updated May 2023

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