What evidence do I need to provide?
When you claim benefits or report a change in your circumstances, you need to provide evidence.
When making a claim
- Always provide evidence of your income and capital and any other relevant information
- Always complete and send in your form as soon as possible
- Always provide any evidence asked from you as soon as possible
When making a new claim you will need to provide identification for yourself and proof of your National Insurance Number (NINo).
Acceptable forms of proof of your National Insurance Number
- P45 or P60
- Letter from HM Revenue and Customs about tax or tax credit
- Bank statements showing payments by Direct Debit for class-2 National Insurance contributions, or benefit payments received showing your NINo on the statement. For example, Incapacity Benefit or State Pension
- Payslips, salary statement or works pension statement (as long as it shows your NINo)
- Letter from the Pension Service or Jobcentre Plus (not handwritten)
- NINo card (not handwritten)
These are examples of the type of proof we need, not a full list.
We need one document to confirm your National Insurance number and one to confirm your partner's National Insurance number, if you have a partner.
Acceptable forms of identification
Evidence of identity can be any of the following:
- Birth, marriage or civil partnership certificate; or divorce, annulment, separation or ending of a civil partnership papers in your current name. If your name has changed because of marriage or civil partnership, provide your marriage or civil partnership certificate as well
- Passport (must be current and valid) or Biometric Residence Permit
- Medical card or television licence in your name
- Gas, electricity, water or phone bill (not a mobile phone bill), in your name, received within the last three months
- Current full or provisional driving licence (photocard or paper)
- Credit card, debit card or cash card
- Bank or building society statement (not older than four weeks) or passbook
- Certificate of employment in HM Forces or Merchant Navy
- B79 form for notice that you have been released from prison
- Letter from a solicitor, social worker, probation officer, doctor or HM Revenue and Customs
- Letter from the Home Office about immigration status
- Residence permit, Police Registration Certificate, Immigration and Nationality Directorate travel document, standard acknowledgement letter (SAL1 or 2) or Application Registration Card (ARC)
- Home detention curfew licence
These are examples of the type of proof we need, not a full list.
We need one document for you and one for your partner, if you have a partner. You can also use any of the documents in the list of evidence of National Insurance number to confirm your identity, as long as it is a different document from the one you use to confirm your National Insurance number.
Types of income and capital proof we need
- Payslips. For you and your partner, these must be for the last five weeks if you are paid weekly, or the last two months if you are paid monthly. All payslips must follow each other, with no gaps. For other people living with you, we can accept payslips for the last two weeks if they are paid weekly, or the last month if they are paid monthly
- Your latest pension statement, student financial support notice or latest trading accounts if you're self employed
- Your latest Child Benefit award letter from the Child Benefit Office, showing your current address, or your recent bank or building society statement showing payment of Child Benefit. We don't count your income from Child Benefit, but we need evidence that you get Child Benefit for your dependent children so that we know they are part of your household
- Your latest benefit award letter from Jobcentre Plus or The Pension Service, or tax credit award letter from HM Revenue and Customs
- Bank, building society or post office account passbooks or statements. The statements must show all transactions for the last two full months. We can accept internet banking statements printed by you if they include the website address, name of the account holder, account number and sort code. We can't accept mini statements that just show a balance. For a post office card account we will accept just your latest statement
- Share certificates or dividend statements for stocks, shares or bonds.
These are examples, not a full list.
Evidence of rent can be any of the following
- Your tenancy agreement
- Your rent book
- Letter from your landlord
- Letter from your agent.
Evidence of rent must include
- Full name and business or home address of the owner of the property
- Full name and business address of any managing agent
- The date the agreement started
- The amount of current rent you are charged
- Details of what is included in the rent. For example, heating, lighting, cleaning, water rates, meals, personal care, general counselling and support
- How often you must pay the rent. For example, every week, every month, every four weeks.
When you have claimed benefits or reported a change in your circumstances
You must always support your claim for Housing Benefit or Council Tax Support with evidence of what you tell us
You must also provide evidence when you tell us about a change that might affect your benefit
If you are claiming for yourself and a partner, you must provide evidence for your partner as well.
Completed an online form?
If you have completed an online claim form you will have a list of evidence that we need before we can process your claim.
If we have written to you about your claim, you must provide any further evidence we have asked for.
If you don't get the evidence to us within a month of making a claim, we may not be able to pay you any benefit at all.
If you don't send us evidence of a change, you may not get what you are entitled to. If you get too much you will have to pay it back - or have your benefit stopped. You could even face criminal charges for fraud.
If you don't have the evidence we need
If you don't have the evidence we need, or the proof is difficult to obtain, email us at email@example.com as soon as possible.
How to send your documents
You can use the scan station at Preston Town Hall to scan your documents to us.
Or use the Council's website using Preston My Scan app to send us your documents. To use this, you will need a smartphone or tablet that can take photographs or can scan. My Scan ensures that documents securely land in our back office systems ready for processing.
Or post all your documents to: Benefits Department, Town Hall, Lancaster Road, Preston PR1 2RL.
You can upload any information direct to us by using our E-Claim upload form or you can e-mail your documents to firstname.lastname@example.org.