Housing benefit now easier to claim

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Burnley residents who are applying for housing benefit or Council Tax reduction can now do this quickly and easily.

New easy-to-use forms on the council website – www.burnley.gov.uk – mean that people can check whether they are eligible, make a claim, and update an existing claim if their circumstances change.

The move is part of an ongoing trend for key council services to be online. It means that residents can sort out straightforward things in the comfort of their own home without having to visit or contact the council.

Thousands of residents have already begun going online to manage their Council Tax. Our online portal allows residents to check their balance, set up a Direct Debit, make a payment or apply for a discount or exemption.

The systems are safe, quick and easy to use.

Applying for benefits can sometimes be a difficult and complex process, but with the new “e-benefits system” people only answer the questions that are relevant.

This means that instead of wading through 40 pages of an application form, an applicant may only have to answer 10 or 12 points. The new system also means that claims can usually be processed several days faster than where a paper form is used.

If people are not able to use new technology or do not have access to a computer, tablet or smart phone, it’s fine to pop into Contact Burnley, where tablets and PCs are being installed for customers to access.

There is also free Wi-Fi, so customers can bring their own device along to access the portal, with customer service advisors on hand to help. Libraries and many community centres also have free access PCs that customers can use.