Overview of Housing Benefit and Council Tax Reduction

Housing Benefit is means-tested state benefit that helps people who are on low incomes pay their rent. Council Tax Reduction is a Scottish scheme which assists people who are on low incomes by reducing their Council Tax.

Here in the Benefits Office we receive, assess and pay claims for Housing and Council Tax Reduction. We provide Advice On Claiming Housing Benefit and also give advice about claiming other related Welfare Benefits.

The amount of Housing Benefit and Council Tax Reduction that is awarded depends upon the circumstances of the person making the claim and those of other people in their household. Therefore, people who are in receipt of Housing Benefit and Council Tax Reduction must notify the Council in writing immediately if they have a Change of Circumtsances.

We regularly visit customers who receive Housing Benefit and Council Tax Reduction to ensure that we are paying the correct amount to the right person. In addition, we have a Fraud Team that investigate all allegations of Benefit Fraud, and an Overpayments Team who take the appropriate action to recover Overpayments of benefit if they occur.

Comhairle Nan Eilean Siar complies with the Data Protection Act in respect of personal information held. To make an application for Housing Benefit and/or Council Tax Reduction, you will need to complete and return a Benefit Application Form (1.1MB) (Opens in a new window or downloads a file)

The Department for Work and Pensions successfully introduced the Local Housing Allowance (LHA) in the Western Isles from 1st April 2008.

Under the UK government’s Welfare Reforms the Department for Works and Pensions are introducing a number of measures which have had a significant effect on the amount of Housing Benefit that a household receives.

Extra Assistance

If you are receiving Housing Benefit but need extra help, find out about Discretionary Housing Payments.