If you’re self-employed or a company director, you can still apply for Housing Benefit but the information you need to provide may be different to someone who is employed.  

If you’re self-employed, you work for an income but aren't employed under a contract and don’t work for a wage or a salary (an employee).

If you’re a director of a limited company, you're not self-employed.

If you’re a subcontractor and you have tax and National Insurance contributions taken from your wages, you’re not self-employed. 


If you’re self-employed you’ll need to provide proof of self-employed earnings to support your claim:

  • A letter or document from HM Revenues and Customs that confirms the date you registered as self-employed and confirms your unique reference number.
  • Your self-employed accounts to cover the last 12 months, or from the start of trading to date if you haven't been self-employed for at least 12 months.
  • If you don’t have prepared accounts, please provide self employed details.
  • If you’ve only just started trading as self-employed, please provide self employed details.
  • If you’re in self-employed partnership, your partnership agreement.

We may need to see proof of your self-employed expenses. If so, we’ll contact you.

Limited company directors

If you’re a limited company director you’ll have:

  • registered a company with Companies House; and
  • received a certificate of incorporation confirming the company number and date of formation

If you’re a director of a company, we treat you as an employee and not as self-employed. You'll need to provide these proofs to support your claim:

  • Your latest prepared accounts for the business (known as 'statutory accounts') These must show full profit and loss details, and must include a copy of the balance sheet which shows the value of everything the company owns and is owed, shareholder details, and how many shares each shareholder holds.
  • Proof of your earnings from your company, such as wage slips or payroll records.
  • Proof of any other payments received from the company, such as dividend vouchers issued during the period the statutory accounts cover.
  • Business bank account statements (both current and reserve accounts) covering the same period that the statutory accounts cover.


If you’re a subcontractor and you have tax and National Insurance contributions taken from your wages, you're not self-employed. You'll need to provide proof of earnings in support of your claim:

  • If you're paid weekly, your last five wage slips.
  • If you're paid fortnightly, your last three wage slips.
  • If you're paid four-weekly or calendar monthly, your last two wage slips.

Page last updated: 03 January 2019


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