Help with your rent, Council Tax and school meals
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Help with your rent, Council Tax and school meals

This page provides information on what we can do to help you to pay your rent (Housing Benefit) Council Tax (Council Tax Support) and school meals (free school meals).

Housing Benefit

Housing Benefit can help towards your rent if you live and pay rent in Leeds, and are on a low income. More information can be found on the Housing Benefit related page. If you are a landlord see the related page Information for Landlords.

Housing Benefit cannot provide help towards a mortgage but you may be able to get Support for Mortgage Interest from the Department of Work and Pensions. See the external link to find out more about Support for Mortgage Interest.

If you are in arrears with your rent or mortgage payments our Housing Options team may be able to help. See the related page for more information about where to get help.

Discretionary Housing Payments

Discretionary housing payments (DHPs) (opens as a PDF 118KB) are extra payments to help people pay their rent. We give DHPs to people receiving Housing Benefit or the housing costs element of Universal Credit who need more help with their housing costs.

DHPs are paid in addition to your Housing Benefit or Universal Credit entitlement. As discretionary housing payments are not payments of benefit, we are able to decide who to give this extra help to, and how much to give.

The amount we can spend on discretionary housing payments is limited. Once this money has been used up we will not be able to give extra payments.  This means that a DHP will only be awarded to those who are most in need. You can view our DHP policy (opens as a PDF 160KB) and apply using the application form (opens as a Word Doc 332 KB).

Council Tax Support

Council Tax Support can reduce the amount of Council Tax you pay or mean that you have nothing to pay. Please see the Council Tax Support related page for further information.

Free School Meals

If you are the parent, foster parent, network family carer or guardian of children at school and you are on a low income, you could get Free School Meals. For more information see the Free School Meals related page.

These are the only benefits that you can get from Leeds City Council. If you are wanting to claim other benefits for example Job Seekers Allowance, Income Support you should contact the Department for Works & Pensions – see the external link 'Entitled to - benefits calculator'.


How can I find out how much help I could get?

Use the 'Entitled to - benefits calculator' in the External Links section on this page to work out how much Housing Benefit and Council Tax support you could receive.​​​

Frequently asked questions:

Click to expandHow do I apply?

To claim Housing Benefit, Council Tax Support and Free School Meals download a benefits claims form from the expandable Documents section on this page. There is also a new claim information booklet which will help you to complete the form. If you need to print any of these documents in large print, please select A3 size in print settings.​

You can also pick a form up at any of our one stop centres - to find out your nearest one stop centre please enter your postcode in the Where I Live section.

If you need help completing your claim form see the related page Help with completing your Housing Benefit or Council tax Support claim form.

Click to expandWhat if my circumstances have changed, for example my income has changed or I've moved address?

Please look at the 'Changes in Circumstances' page which is linked in the Related Pages section of this page for detailed information and downloadable forms.

Click to expandWhat happens next?

Once we have received your completed claim form we will write to you to let you know:

  • the amount you are entitled to
  • the date from which you are entitled
  • how to appeal if you do not agree with our decision – more information can be found on the related page 'disputes and appeals'

It is your responsibility to notify us of any changes in your circumstances which may affect your entitlement – more information can be found on the related page changes in circumstances

Once you have been sent the details above you can view your claim online. You can do this by clicking the Top Task 'View your housing benefit or Council Tax Support online'. More information is available in the document View Benefit/Council Tax online guide found in the Documents section on this page.​​

To view documents in PDF format you will require the free Download Adobe Reader Adobe Acrobat Reader

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