Proof we need

Why do we ask for proof?

We are responsible for protecting public funds and detecting or preventing fraud so we need to check the information you give us when:

  • you apply for Housing Benefit and/or Council Tax Reduction
  • you have a change that may effect your benefit or reduction

What do we use proof for?

We use the proof we ask you for to:

  • make sure you are entitled to Housing Benefit and/or Council Tax Reduction
  • make sure we are giving you the right amount of benefit or reduction

When do we ask for proof?

We ask you for proof when:

  • we need to make sure the information you have given us is accurate and complete
  • we need to work out how much benefit or reduction you should get

We may need to ask you to provide proof again if the proof you give us is incomplete, expired or unclear.

We do not usually need to ask you for proof:

  • if we have it already
  • if we can check the information you have given us with another Council department
  • if we can check the information you have given us with the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) or HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC)

Whose proof do we ask for?

We may ask you to give us proof about yourself, your partner, children or other adults who live with you as part of your household.

Back to top


Giving us proof

You should give us all the proof we ask for right away. If you cannot give it to us right away you must give it to us on time.

The easiest way to give us proof we have asked for is to upload it online using a smart phone or a scanner:

Time limits

You must give us all the proof we ask for within one month of the date we ask for it. We recommend you give it to us right away.

If you delay giving us all the proof we ask for:

  • we may not be able to pay you Housing Benefit and/or Council Tax Reduction
  • your benefit or a reduction may stop or go down
  • you may lose out on an increase in your benefit or reduction

If Housing Benefit is not paid or stops you may have to apply for Universal Credit for help with your rent.

If Council Tax Reduction is not paid or stops you will have to reapply.

If you do not give us all the proof we ask for

We will not be able to pay you benefit or a reduction or your benefit or reduction may stop or go down:

  • if you do not give us all the proof we ask for
  • if you do not give us all the proof on time

If Housing Benefit is not paid or stops you may have to apply for Universal Credit for help with your rent.

If Council Tax Reduction is not paid or stops you will have to reapply.

If you do not have proof we ask for

If you do not have proof we ask for you should contact us right away.

You must tell us why you do not have the proof.

Back to top


Proof we usually need to see

These are the most common types of proof we may ask you to give us:

If we ask you for proof of something that is not in the above list we will tell you what to give us when we ask for it.

Types of proof you should give us

These are they types of proof you should give us when we ask for proof about you or someone who lives with you as part of your household.

Identity

  • Do not send valuable documents in the post

Give us your passport or full UK driving licence.

If you are a European national and do not have a passport or UK driving licence we need to see your national identity card.

If you do not have a UK passport or driver's licence we may also need proof of your immigration status.

The proof you give us must be valid (not expired).

National Insurance number

Tell us your National Insurance number and give us at least one of the following:

  • a letter from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) showing your name and National Insurance number
  • a letter from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) showing your name and National Insurance number

Immigration status

  • Do not send valuable documents in the post

Give us at least one of the following:

  • a letter from the Home Office
  • a document or passport showing your residence permit
  • a document or passport showing your leave to remain

The proof you give us must be valid (not expired).

Back to top


Rent

Give us your latest tenancy agreement. Your agreement must detail each service, meal or support charge included in your rent (if any).

If you do not have a tenancy agreement your landlord can fully complete the Rent Form we sent you or you can give us a letter from your landlord showing all of the following:

  • the date the tenancy started
  • how much your rent is
  • how often you have to pay rent
  • the amount of each service or support charge included in your rent (if any)
  • your landlord's full name
  • their agent's full name (if the landlord uses an agent)
  • the business address of your landlord or their agent

Residency

Give us two of the following showing your current address:

  • your latest Council Tax bill
  • your latest gas, water or electricity bill
  • a recent letter from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP)
  • a recent letter from HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC)
  • a recent letter from the Home Office

Back to top


Earnings

  • By 'consecutive' we mean pay slips that are in sequence, in order or in a row.

Give us your most recent consecutive pay slips for:

  • the last 2 months (if you are paid monthly)
  • the last 5 weeks (if you are paid weekly)
  • the last 3 fortnights (if you are paid every 2 weeks)

Recently started work?

  • You must give us your pay slips as soon as you have them.

If you do not have pay slips yet we need an estimate of your earnings. Give us one of the following:

  • a letter or contract of employment showing the weekly number of hours you work and your annual or hourly wage
  • ask your employer to complete a Pay form.

Back to top


Self-employment

Give us your latest profit and loss accounts.

If you do not have profit and loss accounts give us your latest self-assessment tax return (form SA100) from HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) (external link).

We may also ask you to give us:

  • your class 2 and 4 National Insurance certificates
  • your last six months business bank accounts

Trading for less than a year?

  • Until you have traded for a year we may need to check your income every 3-4 months

We will not work out your self-employed income for you. Do not give us invoices and receipts - we will not look at them.

If you have been trading for less than a year complete our Self-employed supplement. If we need more proof we will ask for it.

Company directors

  • Tell us if you are a sole trader, partner or joint-owner.  If you are a partner or joint-owner, tell us the number of partners/joint-owners.

Give us documents that confirm the following for each company you are a director of::

  • your shareholding
  • your earnings (drawings/wages)
  • your dividends

We may also ask you to give us:

  • your company accounts
  • your company balance sheet
  • your company reports
  • your exemption certificate from HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC)

Back to top


Benefits

Give us one of the following for each benefit you get:

  • a letter from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP)
  • bank statements showing your current benefit payments

Child Benefit

  • Do not contact HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) for a copy of your letter if you do not have it

Give us one of the following:

  • your Child Benefit letter
  • bank statements showing your current Child Benefit payments

Tax Credits

Give us one of the following:

  • all the pages of your current Tax Credit letter
  • bank statements showing your current Tax Credits payments

Back to top


Pensions

State Pensions

Give us one of the following for each pension you get:

  • a letter from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP)
  • bank statements showing your current pension payments

Private and occupational pensions

Give us your latest pension advice slip for each private or occupational pension you get.

Back to top


Savings and investments

  • Do not send valuable documents in the post

Give us:

  • bank statements covering at least the last 2 months for each account you have (we need to see all pages for each statement you give us)
  • a savings book for each savings account you have
  • share certificates for each shareholding you have
  • confirmation of investment for each of your investments

Back to top


Child care charges

  • You need to give us proof for each child getting child care

Give us your child care agreement or receipts for payments you make.

Your proof must tell us:

  • the name of the child
  • the name of person or organisation that provides childcare
  • the childcare provider's Ofsted registration number
  • the days and times childcare is provided

Your proof must also tell us if the childcare is provided:

  • all year
  • during term-time only
  • school holidays only
  • for another period

Back to top


Student status

Give us a current letter from the school, college or university that shows all of the following:

  • the start and end dates of the course
  • the duration of the course
  • the weekly number of hours of the course
  • whether the course is full or part time

Student income

  • Your breakdown should show all of the amounts included in your loan or grant - we will not count certain allowances and elements if we know you get them

Give us a full breakdown of:

  • your current Student Loan showing the dates it is paid to you
  • your current grant or bursary showing the dates it is paid to you

Back to top


 

Page Last Updated:

5 August 2019

Give us feedback about this page

Please note if you have a service issue you need help with then please visit our contact pages.

Overall, how easy was it to get the help you wanted today?

* = response required

Please note this form is not for general service requests or issues. It's quicker for you if those comments are sent directly to Customer Services.

How easy was it to get the help you wanted

Would you like to provide any further comments about your visit today?

Additional comment?

Do you wish to report a problem with a council service?

Service comment

It's quicker if you report any service issues using our online self-service pages (opens in new window).

Tell us about your experience of using the website below:

Please note this form is not for general service requests or reporting issues with a service. It's quicker for you if those comments are sent directly to Customer Services.