Benefits portal troubleshooting guidance

This page helps people resolve issues when using Haringey's online benefits portal.

It covers frequently asked questions about new claims, changes, access keys, proof uploads and online benefit letters and should help you resolve your issue.

If there is no information about your issue on this page contact

New claims


Access keys

Online letters

Uploading proof

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New claims

Saving a new claim

You can only save a new claim once you reach the Summary screen.

You need to set answers to three security questions when saving your claim. Once your claim is saved a Citizens Access key is emailed to you (check your junk/spam folders).

You need the key to continue your claim and must complete and submit it within 14 days of saving it.

  • If you do not set your three security answers the form cannot be continued or retrieved and you will need to begin a new one.

Continuing a saved new claim

You need to enter some details and the Citizens Access key you were sent. Once those details are validated a security question will appear. 

Once you answer the security question you can continue your claim.

Also see: My details are not being recognised

I cannot continue a saved new claim

If you have problems accessing a saved claim see Citizens Access keys and My details are not recognised.

If you are still unable to access a claim contact and tell us the details you are using so we can try and trace your claim.

Please note, if we cannot trace it, you will need to make a new claim.

I am not able to submit my claim

You must complete all sections shown on the Summary screen to enable the Submit button. 

Completed sections display a green 'Done' icon. Incomplete sections display a red 'Not Done' icon. Icons are displayed in each section heading.

If all sections display green 'Done' icons but you are still unable to submit your claim contact so we can investigate the issue. 

I have a ‘numeric value/SQL’ error message

This happens when incorrect details or high values are entered into a field.  For example:

  • a letter is used instead of a number or a number is used instead of a letter (for example, O instead of 0, l instead of 1, S instead of 5)
  • a special character is used (for example, £, /, #, &, +, !)
  • use of a claim reference number that is not recognised (for example, a Council Tax account, tracking reference or access key is used as the claim reference number)
  • if applying for Housing Benefit, the number of rooms in the property is less than the number of rooms used by the household (for example, 1 bedroom in property but 2 bedrooms used)

To resolve the error, check the answers you have entered to identify the field which includes the error.  You can do this by returning to the Summary screen.

If you are unable to identify the error, save your claim and contact to tell us about the error. 

Please note, if you cannot save your claim or the error cannot be identified or resolved you will need to make a new claim.

I have a ‘system error occurred, please try again later’ message

This happens when:

  • you insert another number (such as your Council Tax account) instead of your Housing Benefit claim number
  • you insert letters into the building society roll number field
  • if there is a technical issue with our back-office systems

If you inserted an incorrect Housing Benefit claim number or letters in the roll number field you can resolve the error by amending the number or deleting the letters. You can return to the questions by returning to the Summary screen.

If you do not have a claim number (or have forgotten it) or you do not have a building society account save your claim (if you have not already done so) as you will not be able to submit it until the technical issue is resolved.

  • You must set your three security answers or your claim cannot be continued and you will need to begin again.

Once your claim is saved, contact and so we can investigate the issue.

Tracking reference

A tracking reference is sent to you as confirmation that you have successfully submitted a new claim. 

A tracking reference is not:

  • a Citizens Access key
  • your claim reference number

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Change of circumstances is not available

When you use the portal to tell us about a change in your circumstances, we must process it before you can use the portal to tell us about another change.  

To resolve this error, you can either:

I am not able to tell you about a change

See Change of circumstances is not available and My details are not recognised.

My details are not recognised

This error usually happens where:

  • the Citizens Access key does not work
  • the details you are entering do not match the details we hold for you
  • you are trying to tell us about a change, but your claim has already ended
  • you are using your tracking reference number or Council Tax account number instead of your claim number

This error can often be resolved by:

  • making a new claim if your claim has ended 
  • requesting another access key
  • making sure you use your claim number (if you know it)

If the error persists or you do not know your claim number and need to enter it contact and tell us:

  • what you are trying to do (for example, to tell us about a change, continue a claim you have started, register for or view online letters)
  • the full details you are entering so we can check for mismatches (if possible, include a screenshot of the details you are using)

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Access keys

Citizens Access keys

Citizens Access keys are auto-generated by the system at the point of request.

Only the most recent access key is valid. You cannot use old access keys once a new one has been requested.

My Citizens Access key will be sent in the post

Access keys are sent by post if we do not have your email address on our back-office system. Contact so we can update our records. 

Once this has been done you can request another key which will be emailed to you right away (you may need to check your junk/spam folders).

You should discard the letter you receive in the post as that access key will no longer be valid.

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Online letters

I am not able to register for online letters

You only need to register for online letters once. You can do this when making a new claim or by using the register for online letters option.

If you are not able to register for online letters see My details are not recognised.

I am not able to view my online letters

You can only view letters that are issued to you from the date you register for online letters.

You will receive an email to let you know when letters are available.

If you are not able to view your letters see My details are not recognised.

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Uploading proof

Upload your proof online

About uploading proof

The proof you can upload is limited to certain file types and a maximum size limit. 

You can upload your proof using the upload evidence facility in the benefits portal

See our help uploading files page for more about file types and size limits.

You can also use our Other benefit enquiries e-form to upload your proof instead.

I am not able to upload my proof

When making a new claim or telling us about a change you can only upload proof when answering questions or just before you submit your claim. 

You cannot upload proofs via the portal after your claim or change is submitted.

In some cases:

  • the browser may freeze
  • the upload will get stuck and not complete

If your upload fails or you have already submitted your claim or change you can upload your proof separately using the benefits portal.

I am not sure what proof you want

See our Proof we need page for information about the types of proof you can give us.

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Page last updated:

29 September 2020