Benefits standards of evidence

Everyone claiming council tax support and housing benefit must provide evidence to support their claim. The council can obtain some evidence itself but may need to ask you to provide certain documents.

Electronic evidence is acceptable for everything, except for evidence of identity on a brand new claim.

By electronic evidence we mean scanned or photographed documents. We will also accept online wage slips and bank statements.

The preferred method of receiving electronic evidence is by upload. When completing an online form you will be advised how to upload your evidence. If you do not have an upload link, electronic evidence can be emailed to havant.benefits@secure.capita.co.uk.

If you do not have your evidence electronically it can be sent to: The Benefits Service, Havant Borough Council, PO Box 75, Havant, PO9 2ER.

Evidence of identity

If we ask you to provide evidence of identity we will accept any two of the following, but they must be original documents:

  • passport
  • national ID card
  • any Home Office document that includes a photo
  • full driving license with photo card
  • letter from a solicitor, or social worker or probation officer confirming how long they have known you, or your partner
  • valid UK residence permit
  • birth adoption or marriage certificate
  • utility bills at the address the claim is for

If you are unable to provide two of the above, then you should provide any official documentation, such as tax or pension statements, that can show that you, and your partner, are who you claim to be.

National insurance number

If we ask you, or your partner, to provide evidence of your national insurance number then you should provide something which shows your national insurance number, linked to your name such as:

  • tax documents
  • income proof from previous employment such as a P45 or P60
  • your NINo card

Household members

Children in your household

In most cases we will not need specific evidence of the make-up of your household, generally this will only be needed where the number of children you have is going to affect your benefit award

If we ask you to provide evidence of the children in your household, then one of the following is acceptable:

  • child benefit award notice
  • child’s birth certificate
  • bank statements showing child benefit payments
  • tax credit award notice

Sub-tenants and boarders

If you sub-let part of your accommodation, or have a lodger or boarder, the following evidence is required:

  • tenancy agreement between you and your subtenant(s)/boarder(s)
  • a letter from you

Both of the above must state all of the following:

  • the amount of the rent
  • whether the rent is weekly, monthly or for some other period
  • what services are included in the rent

Income

Earnings

If we ask you to provide evidence of your earnings, then any one of the following is acceptable:

  • 5 recent consecutive weekly wage slips
  • 3 recent consecutive fortnightly wage slips
  • 2 recent consecutive monthly wage slips

If you don’t have consecutive wage slips, we may be able to use non-consecutive ones.

Earnings from self-employment

If you are self-employed, please provide your most recent business profit and loss accounts, along with current business bank statements. These do not have to be audited accounts.

If you do not have accounts, or have recently become selfemployed, then we will send you a questionnaire to complete.

Childcare payments

The following are acceptable as evidence of childcare costs:

  • a letter from the childcare provider
  • receipts for childcare payments
  • if you have neither of the above, a current tax credits award notice recording the childcare costs that HM Revenues and Customs have taken into consideration

State benefits, tax credits and pension credit

If we do have to ask you for evidence of state benefits that you receive, the following are acceptable:

  • award letter from the issuing department
  • if you have only recently claimed for a state benefit, then we may ask you to provide details of how you are currently meeting your day to day living expenses, so that we can make a decision on your claim while we wait for your state benefit to be awarded

Private and occupational pensions

The following are acceptable as evidence:

  • a private pension payment advice slip showing the rate of pension you currently receive
  • a letter from the pension provider confirming the rate of pension you currently receive
  • if you do not have either of the above, we will accept a bank statement showing payments going in

Students

You will be asked to provide the following:

  • all term dates
  • a full breakdown of your student award

If you have no student finance then we will need to know how you are meeting your day-to-day expenses

If you have not yet received your finance letter for the current academic year, then we may be able to make a payment on account based on a previous year’s finance award.

Other income

If you, or your partner, receive any income that is not earnings, benefits or pensions, you must provide evidence of it. If someone is paying you an income, then we can usually accept a letter from them confirming the amount and frequency of the payment.

Bank accounts, savings and investments

You are required to declare all capital held by you, and your partner.

This includes overdrawn accounts, unused accounts and any other account where you are a named party. We can accept as evidence:

  • a recent bank or building society statement
  • a savings book, showing that the balance has been updated within the 2 months immediately before the date of claim or the change in your circumstances
  • certificates of any bonds, unit trusts and shares

Property

If you, or your partner, own any property (other than the one in which you currently live) or land in this country or abroad, we need evidence of the value of the second property or land and evidence of any outstanding mortgage.

Income of other people living with you

If you have anyone living in your household who is an adult (someone for whom you do not receive child benefit) and is not a sub-tenant or lodger, we will need to see evidence of their income.

Rent

One of the following must be provided as evidence of rent liability:

  • current tenancy agreement
  • a letter from your landlord if you have not been issued with a tenancy agreement

Evidence of rent must be signed by the landlord, or agent. If it is signed by an agent, then we also need to see evidence that the agent has been appointed to act on the landlord’s behalf. This is usually stated on the tenancy agreement. Electronic signatures are acceptable.

The proof must state the following:

  • the amount of the rent
  • whether the rent is weekly, monthly or for some other period
  • what services are included in the rent
  • the date the agreement began
  • the name of the landlord
  • the name and address of the person who collects the rent (which can be the landlord or a managing agent)

If you share part of your home with your landlord, we may need to ask you some additional questions.

If you are related to your landlord, we may need to ask you some additional questions.

Payment of your benefit

If you are receiving housing benefit, then this will be made by BACS transfer to your bank account.

We will need to see confirmation of the bank details to be used: the name of the bank, the name on the account, the sort code and account number.

This information is all contained on a bank statement. 14 If we do not have this information, payment can be made by cheque.

If you are in arrears with your rent we may have to pay benefit to your landlord. We may require evidence of your arrears, which can be:

  • rent book
  • receipts signed by the landlord (for hotels it must cover the full period of your stay and include the room number)
  • letter from your landlord or managing agent
  • details of standing order payments
  • bank paying-in book with receipts showing the landlord’s name