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Your claim for Housing Benefit and/or Council Tax Support is a private and confidential matter and, as such, we will not discuss your claim with anybody who is not suitably authorised.

This can cause problems for some people who rely on the help of a friend or relative, but fortunately the regulations make provision for this. There are two ways that you can solve this problem.

Form of authority

This simply means that you allow us to talk or write to somebody else on your behalf. You are still in charge of your account and are responsible for it being correct, and for telling us of any changes that you may have.

This would be useful if, for example, you had a query on your account, but you are not able to come into the office, or do not like using the telephone. If you authorise us to discuss your account with a particular friend or relative, they can telephone us or come into the office on your behalf.

Don’t forget we have a Visiting Officer who can come and talk to you in your own home. Please contact us and ask for the visiting officer.


This is a much higher level of authority, as the person you nominate becomes responsible for all aspects of your claim. It is usually only entered into if you are unable to manage your affairs. They also become responsible for repaying any over claimed Housing Benefit.

An appointee can be one of the following who is over 18 years old:

  • a receiver appointed by the Court of Protection
  • an attorney
  • a person appointed by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) to act on the claimant’s behalf in connection with some other benefit, or
  • a friend, relative, social worker etc

You can change your Appointee, or they can withdraw from the arrangement by writing to the Benefit Service.

Form of Authority or Appointee - opens new windowExternal Link - opens in a new window

The Benefits Service

Daneshill House





01438 242440