How to claim for benefits

Making a claim and evidence needed

Who can claim benefits? 

Find out more on who can claim for benefits

What do I need to make a claim?

  1. Your fully completed and signed claim form – this means you must answer every question.
  2. Proof of identity for you and, if you have a partner, for him or her as well (we will need two forms of identity for each of you).
  3. Proof of National Insurance number for you (and your partner).
  4. Proof of income for you (and your partner).
  5. Proof of all income for anyone else living with you (including your children, other relatives/friends).
  6. Proof of any savings (if you or your partner jointly have more than £5,500 held in a bank account, building society, or in other forms of investment such as stocks, shares or properties). 
  7. Proof of rent (if you pay rent to a private landlord or housing association). We will need to see both of the following:   
    • Proof of current rent, and 
    • One recent bank statement – in your name or your partner’s name so we can pay benefit to you directly.  

Do I have to provide original documentation? 

Every document you give us in support of your claim must be an original one so this means we cannot accept photocopies. Please do not delay in sending us your claim form even if you do not have all the relevant documents now and please provide your supporting evidence promptly.

Evidence we can accept with your claim

Proof of identity can be any of the following:

  • Birth, marriage or divorce certificate, separation or annulment papers (in your current name).
  • Passport (current and valid).
  • TV licence in your name.
  • Medical card.
  • Gas, electricity, phone or water rates bill, in your name for the last quarter (but not a mobile phone bill).
  • Full driving licence (photo card or paper).
  • Certificate of employment in HM Forces or Merchant Navy.
  • Letter from solicitor, social worker or probation officer.
  • UK Border Agency documents, relating to entry into the UK.

Proof of your National Insurance number:

  • P45 or P60.
  • Bank statements showing payments by direct debit for Class 2 National Insurance contributions or receipt of state benefits.
  • Pay slips or salary statement or works pension statement. These must show your National Insurance number.
  • Official letter sent to you by the Department for Work and Pensions, Jobcentre or HMRC tax department (not hand written).
  • National Insurance card.

Proof of income and capital:

  • Payslips (your last five weekly, your last three fortnightly or your last two months payslips).
  • Trading accounts for the last financial year if you are self-employed. If you have been trading for less than a year we will contact you regarding the information we need.
  • State benefit or HMRC tax credit award letters.
  • Bank, building society or post office account pass books or statements (we must see statements showing all transactions for the last two months for each account you have).
  • Share certificates or dividend statements for stocks, shares and premium bonds.

Proof of rent:

  • Tenancy agreement – which is less that 52 weeks old.
  • If your tenancy agreement is more than 52 weeks old we will need confirmation in writing from your landlord or property agent confirming the amount of rent you have to pay and any services included in this amount.
  • Rent book.

The evidence for proof of rent must provide the following information:

  • The full name and business or home address of the owner or agent of the property.
  • The date the tenancy agreement started.
  • The amount of current rent payable.
  • What is included in the rent eg heating, lighting, cleaning, water rates, meals, personal care, general counselling and support.
  • The payment period or frequency eg weekly, monthly, four weekly

This is not a full list of evidence which can be accepted. Please contact us for other types of proof. Please provide proof of all your income and capital.