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Self-employed

If you or your partner are working as a sole trader, as a member of a trading partnership or as a share fisherman then you will be considered to be a self-employed earner. You will also be classed as self-employed if you are paying class two National Insurance contributions.

If you or your partner are working as a sole trader, as a member of a trading partnership or as a share fisherman then you will be considered to be a self-employed earner. You will also be classed as self-employed if you are paying class two National Insurance contributions.

To claim housing benefit and/or council tax support you must complete the combined housing benefit and council tax support claim form. See related page link or you can obtain a form from the benefit office or by calling 01205 314200.

You must complete all sections of the claim form where necessary and provide all documentary evidence as requested in the claim form, or any other additional information that we may request from you. Failure to do so may result in your claim being withdrawn or in a loss of benefit.

Making a claim

You must complete all sections of the claim form where necessary and provide all documentary evidence as requested in the claim form or any other additional information that we may request from you. Failure to do so may result in your claim being withdrawn or it may result in a loss of benefit.

What if I am unable to provide a profit and loss account?

You may be unable to provide us with a profit and loss account if:

In this case you will be asked to complete a self-employed earnings form. This form asks for information about your business and about your business income and expenses. The form can be downloaded at the bottom of this page.

What if I have just started up in business?

You may not have enough accounts or enough business records to allow us to work out your average weekly earnings. In this case your likely level of earnings will be estimated until you are able to provide the required information.

I am a child minder - how will my income be calculated?

If you are a child minder then there are no allowable expenses. Two thirds of your earnings from child minding will be taken into account when calculating your entitlement to housing benefit and/or council tax support. All expenses are disregarded.

Calculating the payments

I have submitted my application form and provided the benefits section with all the necessary evidence and information, how are my self-employed earnings calculated?

Firstly, your gross profit will be calculated. In doing so we will not make any deductions for the following amounts in your business records or accounts:

Please note these are only examples and are not an exhaustive list:

In order to calculate your net earnings the following will then be deducted from your pre-tax profit:

What next?

When your net profit for benefit purposes has been assessed this figure will be used to calculate your entitlement to housing benefit and/or council tax support for a future benefit period.

We may ask you to meet with us to discuss your self-employed accounts.

Outcome of claim

How will I know if I have qualified?

When your claim and all relevant supporting documentation and information has been received your claim will be processed. You will be issued with a notification letter confirming details of the calculation and whether or not you have qualified for housing benefit and/or council tax support.

What if I think the decision is wrong or I am unsure about the decision?

You should notify us immediately if you require clarification or if you think the decision is wrong. You should call or write to the benefit section who made the decision.

When will my entitlement be reviewed?

If you are self-employed your review will take place on or around the date which coincides with the time that your next set of profit and loss accounts are due to be completed. It is important that your profit and loss account is prepared immediately after your trading year ends in order that your benefit can be reassessed promptly.

Change of circumstances

It is important that all claimants report all changes of income or personal circumstances that may affect their benefit entitlement.

Two examples of relevant changes that a self-employed earner should notify the council of are:

If in doubt you should always notify a change to ensure that you are receiving the correct amount of benefit and to prevent an overpayment.

Related documents

Size Name
[2Mb] Self Employed Income Self employed income
[240kb] Self-employed income information form Housing Benefit

The documents in this section are in Adobe Acrobat format (pdf). You will need Acrobat Reader to view these files which can be downloaded from the Adobe website free of charge.