Understanding your benefit notification letter

Your notification letter contains important information about your claim for Housing Benefit.

Watch a short video explaining your notification letter 

Please check the details in your notification letter and make sure they are correct. You must contact us straight away if anything is wrong and tell us what is wrong.

If you need to contact us, please remember to quote your claim reference number, which is shown in the right-hand corner of the decision notice.


claim reference number image

The benefit notification letter tells you:

  • when your Housing Benefit starts
  • how much you are entitled to
  • how often you will get a payment and how it will be paid
  • how your entitlement has been worked out.

View an example of a Housing Benefit notification letter

Why have I received a letter?

The reason we are sending you a letter is shown here. If the reason is "annual uprating", this just means there has been a change in your benefit due to the Government's annual review of benefits and allowances.


Calculation notification

When does my Housing Benefit start?

This is shown in the top half of your letter.


housing benefit start date letter

 How much am I entitled to?

Your weekly entitlement is shown below. This might not be the same as the weekly amount payable.


housing benefit entitlement letter

How much will I receive?

This amount might be different from your weekly entitlement. For example, we might deduct an amount if you are repaying an overpayment.


housing benefit amount payable image - Telford &<Wrekin Council

How often will I get a payment and how will it be paid?

Here you can see how often we will make a payment. We normally pay monthly or 4 weekly. We will pay by BACS and make the payment to you. In some circumstances, we will pay directly to your landlord instead.


housing benefit payment details letter

How has my entitlement been worked out?

This is shown in the bottom half of your letter.


Housing benefit notification

How much rent do I have to pay?

We can't tell you how much rent to pay because we don't know if you have any rent arrears or other charges. If you are not sure about the amount of rent you need to pay, you will need to contact your landlord.

What are 'non-dependant deductions'?

Non-dependants are other adults living in your home. They could be a friend or member of the family, such as grown-up children or parents living with you. We take a fixed amount from your Housing Benefit for any non-dependant. The circumstances in which a deduction may apply and the amounts of the deductions are set by the Government.

What is an 'applicable amount'?

This is the weekly amount the Government says someone in your circumstances needs to live on. It is made up of different allowances and premiums, depending on the make up of your household.

We compare your income to the applicable amount. If your income is less than the applicable amount, you will qualify for the maximum Housing Benefit.

If your income is more than the applicable amount, you will qualify for less than the maximum Housing Benefit. This is worked out on a sliding scale and is known as 'means testing'.

What is 'disregarded income'?

Some of the income you receive can be disregarded each week. The amounts and types of income to be disregarded are set by the government.

An explanation of the terms used in a Housing Benefit notification letter

Last updated: 3.37pm on Friday 22 March 2019

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