Northampton Borough Council
Northampton Borough Council

List of acceptable evidence to support new claims and changes of circumstances

You need to provide documents to Northampton Borough Council benefits section that confirm things about you, your partner and children (if appropriate) when making a new claim or reporting a change in your circumstances.

Copy documents are acceptable, except for any identity documents for you and your partner (if you have one); we need to see originals of these documents.

You must provide all documents to support your benefit claim within 1 calendar month of the date you made that claim; if you do not do so, your claim will be treated as defective and no award will be made.

Type of evidence (and acceptable forms)

Identity birth or marriage certificate, passport, medical card, driving license (we need to see both the paper and card documents for the new style licenses), UK residence permit, EU identity card or a recent utilty (gas, water, electric, etc) bill

We need to see original ID documents when you are providing identity evidence for you and your partner (if you have one).
National Insurance Number NI number card, payslips or letters from social security or the tax office.
Earnings Your last 5 payslips if you are paid weekly or last 2 if you are paid monthly; accounts for the last financial year if you are self employed or trading records so far if your business is new.

If you have just started working we will calculate your claim based on a letter from your employer confirming your new salary.
Capital, savings and investments your bank, post office or building society books, full bank statements, certificates for National Savings Certificates, ISAs, Tessas, stocks, shares and unit trusts.

Mini-statements from ATMs are not sufficient proof of capital amounts; the evidence you send must show details for the last 2 months.
Benefits, allowances, tax credits or pensions current award notices or letters from social security confirming how much you get. We may be able to check for some social security benefits.
Other income received pension slips from a former employer, letter from the court showing maintenance payments, evidence of any board and lodgings paid to you, etc.
Other money paid out letters about student grants or maintenance, agreements or receipts from registered child carers.
Evidence of a private rent and tenancy such as a rent book, rent receipts, a tenancy agreement or a letter from your landlord, or we can supply a form if you do not have these.
Other information may be requested by the benefit assessor handling your claim, depending on your specific circumstances.

The assessor will contact you directly to request this if it is required.

How long does it take to process a claim or change of circumstances?

Once we have completed your online form, submitted it and we have all the supporting documents we need in order to process it, we can complete an assessment of your entitlement to benefit.

If all evidence has been provided to support your claim/change, we normally assess and pay benefit within 1 calendar month of receiving a new claim and endeavour to amend and re-calculate changes as soon as possible.

How long do I have to send in my evidence?

You have up to one calendar month from the date your claim is initially started to provide your supporting evidence to the benefits section, but we encourage you to do this immediately; this start date is confirmed on your email receipt if you enter an email address when you submit your claim.

If there are special circumstances that mean that there will be a delay in obtaining evidence, please tell us straight away.

How can I provide evidence for my claim?

Document upload from your form

When you are ready to submit your online form, you will be given the option to attach electronic copies of your evidence to it and send the documents to us along with your claim.

We can accept electronic copies of all supporting documents except identify documents; original identity documents must be provided.

These documents can only be attached to your form if they are in one of the following formats: JPG, TIFF, PNG, BMP or PDF. We cannot accept uploaded documents in other formats.

You will need to have the documents available in a location on the device you are using to complete the form in order to attach them.

We are currently unable to accept document uploads if you are completing your online claim via a public computer (such as those in libraries or in the One Stop Shop at the Guildhall) for security reasons.

Scan and email documents to the benefits section

The easiest way to provide these is to scan the documents and email them to benefitservices@northampton.gov.uk.

If you do this, please make sure you quote your Benefit Claim Reference Number when sending us any information.

Bring in documents to be copied

If you do not have access to a scanner and you need to bring your evidence into the One Stop Shop at the Guildhall; our opening hours are 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday.

When you report to reception, you will be given an allocated 10 minute slot during that day for you to have your documents scanned for you; please make sure that you arrive promptly so you can be seen at your designated time.

How much benefit will I get?

We take into account:

  • Your income
  • Any savings you may have
  • The size of your family
  • Non-dependants

and therefore the amount can vary substantially.

You can use the GOV.UK benefits calculator to check your potential entitlement to Housing Benefit but this is only an estimate and may vary considerably from any actual award you may receive.