Orkney Islands Council
Working together for a better Orkney

Apply for Housing Benefit

If you wish to apply for Housing Benefit, you can contact the Benefits team on telephone: 01856 873535 extension 2116 or email the Benefits Section. You can also ask for help on how to complete the application forms. Home visits, if suitable, are also available on request.

You can get also an estimate of the benefits, tax credits or pension that may be available by visiting the GOV.UK website, available from Related Sites on the left of this page.

Housing Benefit Application Process

You will be asked about the people who live at your home, and for details of your income, savings and the rent you pay.

You’ll need to provide evidence such as payslips, bank statements or benefit award letters, and of the rent you pay. You need to send us original documents, which will be returned to you. You can download a copy of our Claim form for Housing Benefit and Council Tax Reduction from Related Downloads on the left of this web page.

If you rent accommodation from someone other than the Council you will also be asked to provide details about the accommodation that you live in. You can also download a copy of our Additional information about your rent form from Related Downloads on the left of this web page.

In 2012/2013 and 2013/2014 it took an average of 17 days to process a benefit application. The most common reason for delays is the failure to provide all of the information requested.  If you make a New claim for benefit and provide all of the information that is needed at the first point of contact we will fast-track the processing of the claim within 3 working days.

Housing Benefit Payment Schedule

The benefit is usually paid from the Monday that follows the day we received your application form. Sometimes it can be backdated if you have a good reason for not making an earlier claim. Check with us about this.

Joint Income and Shared Responsibility

If you are married, or live with your partner as if you were married, you will be assessed on your joint income. But you only need to complete one application form.

If you share the responsibility for paying the rent with someone other than your partner, for example, a brother or sister, you can apply separately. Then you will need to complete individual application forms.

Pensioners

If you, or your partner, are aged 60 years or over and have applied to the Pensions Service for Pension Credit - you may receive a Housing Benefit application form direct from them. If you complete and return that form to us, you will not have to fill in the Council’s own application form. If you have any doubts, please contact us.