Apply for housing benefit and council tax reduction

If you need help paying your rent, most people (other than pensioners and a few exempt groups) must apply for Universal Credit from the Department for Work and Pensions. This has replaced housing benefit.

Universal credit

Claim Universal Credit now unless you fall into one of the exceptions below. Failure to claim Universal Credit may result in you losing benefit as Universal Credit is not usually backdated.

Housing benefit

Only claim housing benefit if one or more applies:

  • You are a pensioner – if you have a partner, from 15 May 2019 both of you must be of pension age – however there are some exceptions.
  • You live in supported accommodation.
  • You live in temporary accommodation provided or arranged through the council.

Council tax

Help with council tax is not included in universal credit. You must apply to the council for council tax reduction.

Please check you are not one of them.

  • Do not apply for housing benefit if you have £16,000 or more (including investments, and including any money your partner has), unless you already get Pension Guarantee Credit.
  • Do not apply for council tax reduction if you have more than £6,000 (including your partner’s savings if you have one), unless you are a pensioner.
  • Do not apply online if you live in a bail hostel, residential care or nursing home. If you do, then contact the Ealing Job Centre Plus on 0800 1690190 instead.
  • Do not apply for help with your rent if you were placed in your home by another council and pay rent to them. If you are liable to pay council tax to Ealing Council, and need help, use this form.

If you need help, apply now. You can lose out if you delay.

Before you start

  • To apply for housing benefit or council tax reduction you need to register for My Account
  • To do this you will need to have an email address. If you do not have an email address, you can easily create one free via a number of online providers such as 'yahoo', 'outlook', 'gmail'.
  • Your claim will only be treated as ‘made’ on the day that you submit it. It is important that you start and complete the form on the same day if possible.
  • Once you start the form you will be able to save it with a view to completing it later but be aware that you may lose benefit if you start then complete the form on different days.
  • The form will only be kept for 14 days after which you will have to begin again.
  • Do not delay submitting your claim form if you do not have all the evidence to hand because you may lose benefit.

Uploading supporting documents

We may ask you to upload some documents. 

  • Accepted file types: Word (docx), Acrobat (pdf), Excel (xlsx), Plain text (txt).
  • Zip files cannot be uploaded.
  • We also accept clear photos taken on phones and tablets and the following image file types - jpeg, gif, png.
  • There is a maximum individual file size per document of 50MB.

What happens next

After form submission, you will receive notification of the evidence required for your application.

Once you have applied, you need to tell us if your answers to any of the questions change. This is called a ‘change of circumstance’.


This form should take approximately seven minutes to complete. 

Start form    


Read information about the council's policy on collecting data for online forms.