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Benefits and Council Tax

New benefits claims

We provide advice and guidance information to help you with new applications for benefits, to assist with the living costs.

In this section, you can also report a change in your circumstances to our team and use the benefits calculator on GOV.UK to find out what benefits you could be eligible for.

Housing Benefit Council Tax Support Disability benefits Report benefit fraud Local Housing Allowance Universal Credit Pension Credit

Find information to help with your queries relating to benefit overpayments, choosing a bank account, income related benefits and non-dependant deductions.

Benefits overpayments

An overpayment can happen if we pay you benefit that you are not entitled to. For example, if you didn't tell us that your income had increased, and a recalculation of your benefits meant that you had been paid too much benefit.

We recover overpayments from either the person who caused the overpayment or the person who received the overpayment.

If we give you too much benefit, we will send you a letter. The letter we send you will tell you:

  • Why we gave you too much benefit
  • How much the overpayment is
  • If you have to pay back the amount
  • How you can appeal if you think this is wrong

If the overpayment relates to council tax support, we will send you a revised council tax bill, and you will usually have to pay more council tax.

Find further appeals information on the Housing Benefit and Council Tax Support page.

Please Note: We may also decide to take criminal proceedings in respect of fraudulent overpayments.

Choosing a bank account

You will need a bank account to receive benefit payments, having a bank account will help you to arrange standing order payments to your landlord, if you rent privately. To open an account you can seek advice from any of our contact centres in Droitwich, Evesham, Pershore.

Find out about the types of bank accounts which are available on the Citizens Advice website.

Income related benefits

If you are of working age, financial support will be provided to you by Universal Credit, visit GOV.UK for more information.

People in receipt of Universal Credit may be entitled to Council Tax Support and help with housing costs, this needs to be claimed directly from our new claim page.

If you are over working age, find further information on help you can receive on our Pension Credit page.

Non Dependant Deductions

A non-dependant is someone who is over 18 and lives with you on a non-commercial basis. This means that you are not charging them rent in order to make money, although they may contribute some money towards household bills. An example of a non-dependant could be an adult son or daughter or another relative or even a friend that lives with you.

If a non-dependant lives with you, your Housing Benefit and Council Tax Support is reduced by a fixed amount. What that amount is, depends on the circumstances of the non-dependant. This is because the non-dependant is expected to help with the cost of your household expenses (even if they don't).These fixed amounts are set by the government and they apply whether you are of working age or of State Pension age.

For current Housing Benefit non-dependant deductions visit the Shelter website

Deductions for non-dependant couples

If the non-dependants living with you are a couple (living together as a couple, married or in a civil partnership) then their incomes are combined and one deduction is made based on that.

Deductions for a joint tenancy or joint owners

If you have a joint tenancy and the non-dependant lives in the house with both of you, then any deduction will be half of a normal non-dependent amount.

When deductions are not made

In some instances, non-dependant deductions are not made but this will depend on the circumstances of you and your partner and any of your non-dependants.

Deductions are not made if you or your partner: 

  • are receiving attendance allowance
  • are registered as blind
  • are receiving Disability Living Allowance (the care component)    
  • are receiving the Personal Independence Payment (the daily living component)

Deductions are not made if your non-dependant is: 

  • under 25 and receiving Income Support, Jobseeker's Allowance or Employment and Support Allowance in the assessment phase
  • under 25 receiving Universal Credits and is not working  
  • receiving a youth training allowance 
  • temporarily living elsewhere such as your son or daughter is away at university
  • in prison
  • a full time student  
  • receiving Pension Credit
  • receiving hospital inpatient treatment for more than 52 weeks
  • serving in the Armed or Reserves Forces and is away on operation but intends to return home between deployments.

Contact us

If you wish to speak to someone regarding your benefits application or overpaid Housing Benefit please call 03004 560 560

Visit our contact us page.

Please note: calls may be recorded for training and monitoring purposes.

If you have any further comments, suggestions or complaints please: write to us at South Worcestershire Revenues and Benefits Shared Services, PO Box 11, Pershore, WR10 1PU, or you can e-mail us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

You should note that Council Tax enquiries should be directed to the Council Tax department and not the Benefits department.

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