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Cambridge City Council

Make a benefit claim

Universal Credit

If you need help paying your rent, you'll need to claim Universal Credit, unless:

  • you and your partner have both reached state pension age
  • you live in a homelessness hostel or a refuge
  • you live in sheltered housing or accommodation that includes care, support or supervision
  • you live in temporary accommodation provided by the council

Apply for universal credit on GOV.UK

Find out more about claiming universal credit.

You should only make a claim for Housing Benefit if you are not eligible to claim Universal Credit.

Claim Housing Benefit or Council Tax Reduction

  • Please ensure before making an application that you live in Cambridge. You can find your local council online if you are unsure.
  • If you make an application to us in error, the start of your claim and any payments to you could be delayed.

To apply, you will need details of your income, savings, and rent that you would pay.

When you have finished the form you must click ‘submit’ at the end of the claim process in order for it to reach our system. If you do not your claim will not reach us and you may lose benefit.

Claim housing benefit or council tax reduction

  • The system will be unavailable between 6.30 and 8pm for system maintenance. Please ensure you complete your new claim by this point, or save it and return to it after 8pm.
  • If you do not submit your claim within 14 days of starting, it will be deleted and you will have to restart the process.

If you have applied for Universal Credit and said you want help paying your Council Tax, your details will be sent to us. You do not need to make a separate claim for Council Tax Reduction. Contact us if you do not hear from us by the time you receive your first payment of Universal Credit.

As well as completing the form we may need to see other documents. But do not delay in making a claim, as you will be told what you need to supply.

We’ll contact you within three working days of receiving your claim. We will tell you whether you’re entitled, or ask for any extra documentation needed to process your claim. If you do not hear from us by phone, email or letter, please contact us.

Backdating claims

Benefit can't normally be backdated, so send your completed form and documents to us as soon as possible.

If you've claimed benefit, but think you should have done this from an earlier date, you'll need to write to us asking us to backdate your claim. You'll need to give a good reason why your claim is late. This is known as 'good cause'  and must be continuous for the period you want benefit backdated.

  • Each backdating claim is considered on individual circumstances.
  • We'll consider other things that may have affected your ability to claim, such as your age, health and other circumstances.
  • Benefit can only be backdated for up to 1 month.

If we turn down your claim for backdating, or you disagree with the decision, you can query, review or appeal your benefit decision.

Additional help

Let us know immediately if you’re under threat of eviction. We can liaise with landlords and prioritise claims.

Read our cost of living help pages to find out about other forms of help that may be available.

If you are already claiming Housing Benefit or Universal Credit and need extra help, we might be able to award a Discretionary Housing Payment in certain circumstances. Read our cost of living help pages to find out more about this and other forms of help that may be available.

For questions about a service we provide, please use our contact us form