Local support and coronavirus (COVID-19) guidance

Colchester Borough Council is providing support for residents, businesses, and communities. The government has announced that England has returned to Plan A. You should continue to protect yourself and others. Find further guidance on GOV.UK.

Our Decisions and what if you disagree

Once we have assessed your new application or change in details we will send you a letter explaining our decision. Find out what you can do if you disagree


  • What happens after you apply for Housing Benefit and/or Local Council Tax or after you tell us about a change in your details.
  • Reasons why your Housing Benefit or Local Council Tax Support award may not cover the full cost of your rent or Council Tax bill.
  • What to do if you do not agree with the decision stated on your letter.

What happens after you submit a new application or notify us of a change in your details

Whenever we receive a new claim for Housing Benefit and/or Local Council Tax Support or you let us know your details have changed an assessment is made.

During this assessment we may ask you for some further information if it's needed. 

When the assessment is complete we will send you a letter explaining our decision. 

Why does my award not cover my full rent or Council Tax charge?

Your Housing Benefit award may not pay the full amount to cover your rent because:

  • Your income or savings are too high.
  • You have someone living with you aged 18 or over and this may result in a deduction being made to your award. This is known as a 'non-dependant deduction'.
  • The amount of rent used to work out your benefit is restricted because your rent is too high, or because your home is too large for your needs.
  • The Local Housing Allowance rate for the size of accommodation you need may be lower than the rent you are being charged.
  • Your rent includes something which you cannot claim Housing Benefit for, such as certain service charges.

Your Local Council Tax Support (LCTS) award may not cover the full amount of Council Tax because:

  • All customers of working age claiming LCTS have to pay a minimum of 20% of their Council Tax bill
  • Your income or savings are too high to qualify
  • You owe Council Tax for the time either before you claimed, or outside the period that you were eligible for Local Council Tax Support
  • Child Benefit payments are taken into account when calculating LCTS
  • There is a non-dependant deduction rate of £12 per week regardless of income or savings.

What to do if you disagree with a Housing Benefit or Local Council Tax Support award decision

The Housing Benefit and Local Council Tax Support team will write to tell you about each decision made about your claim. If you are unsure or disagree about any aspect of the letter you can:

  • Contact us to ask for a full explanation. 
  • Ask for us to look at the decision again. You must either ask for this, in writing, by completing the reconsideration form within 1 month of the date of the decision that you disagree with.
  • If you still do not agree with our decision you have the option to go to an Independent Tribunal. The Tribunals Service will hear Housing Benefit appeals and the Valuation Tribunal will hear appeals in respect of Local Council Tax Support. To lodge and appeal please contact the team.

Appeal an award decision