Understanding your benefit letter

Below are samples of our Housing Benefit and Council Tax Reduction letters. They explain the information in the letters to help you better understand how we worked out how much you can get or why you have been overpaid.

The Benefit Decision Notice and Statement of Reason letters we send you let you know how much Housing Benefit and Council Tax Reduction you are entitled to.

The Overpayment Decision Notice letters we send you let you know how much Housing Benefit you have been overpaid, why you have been overpaid and how we will recover the overpayment.

Benefit Decision Notice - letter

This one-page letter is a summary of your entitlement and tells you:

  • how much we can give you
  • when and how your payments will be issued
  • how much of your rent or Council Tax is used to work out your entitlement
  • about any non-dependant deductions that apply
  • the total income figure we used
  • your applicable amount (i.e. the amount the law says you need to live on)

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Statement of Reason - letter

This two-page letter breaks down the information in the Decision Notice and tells you:

  • about all the income we used
  • how much of your income we counted
  • how much of your income we disregarded (i.e. did not take into account)
  • about any capital we used
  • how your applicable amount is worked out
  • how much of your rent or Council Tax is used to work out your entitlement
  • about any non-dependant deductions that apply
  • how all this information was used to calculate how much we can give you

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Overpayment Decision Notice

This two-page letter provides a breakdown of overpaid Housing Benefit and tells you:

  • who was overpaid
  • the address the overpayment relates to
  • the period(s) Housing Benefit was overpaid
  • the amount(s) of Housing Benefit you were getting
  • the amount(s) of Housing Benefit you were entitled to
  • the total amount of overpaid Housing Benefit for the period(s)
  • how the overpaid amount(s) will be recovered
  • the total balance of outstanding Housing Benefit overpayments you currently owe

This letter also includes your appeal rights for the Housing Benefit overpayment detailed in the letter.

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Claim summary

Your online claim summary shows your entitlement and payment details.

Register or view your online claim summary using the Citizens Access Benefits portal.

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View your letters online

Register for online benefit letters or view them online using the Citizens Access Benefits portal.

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Page last updated:

August 24, 2022