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Benefits and Council Tax

New benefits claims

In this section you will find the following information:

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 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 fraudLocal Housing Allowance Universal Credit Pension Credit 

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

Benefit 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.

See further appeals information on Housing Benefit and Council Tax Support Appeals.

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

Choosing a bank account

You would 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 from our customer contact centre at the Council House, Avenue Road, Malvern, WR14 3AF.

Find out about the types of bank accounts which are available from Citizens Advice, alternatively, you may want to consider setting up an account with a Credit Union. View Citizens Advice website.

Credit Unions are a fast-growing alternative to banks and building societies. They are not-for-profit and provide a range of products including current accounts, savings accounts and loans.

6Towns credit union operates throughout Worcestershire and beyond and works with local communities ensuring that everyone has access to banking facilities and access to affordable credit.

To open a 6Towns Current Account you need to do the following:

  • View 6Towns website
  • Click the ‘Click here to apply online' at the top of homepage
  • First Complete the ‘6Towns Membership and Current Account Application'

6Towns Credit Union is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and all savings are fully protected.

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 view Self Service information on South Worcestershire Revenues website.

If you are pensionable age, for further information view our Pension Credit page.

Non Dependant Deductions

A non-dependant is someone who normally 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.

Non-dependant deductions

If a non-dependant lives with you, your Housing Benefit and Council Tax Support may be 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.

You are exempt from non dependant deductions if you or your partner are registered blind, severely sight impaired or has recently regained their sight. They would also not apply if you or your partner are in receipt of one of the following:

  • Attendance Allowance payable at any rate
  • Care component of Disability Living Allowance at any rate
  • Daily Living Component of Personal Independence Payments (PIP)
  • Armed forces independence Payments
  • Constant Attendance Allowance paid with an industrial Injury or War Disablement pension.

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

For current Council Tax Support non-dependant deductions, visit the Council Tax Legislation 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/several of you, then any deduction may be a percentage of a normal non-dependent amount depending on how many joint tenants live with you.

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 student  
  • receiving Pension Credit
  • receiving hospital inpatient treatment for more than 52 weeks
  • serving in the Armed or Reserves Forces and is away but intends to return home

Contact us

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

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

If you have any further comments, suggestions or complaints please:
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. See the contact us page.