Change in Circumstance
How to let us know of your changes in circumstances and why it is important to do so
Any award of Housing Benefit and/or Council Tax Reduction is based on the information you give. Your award may change if your circumstances change.
You can use the e-form below to tell us about a change. You must tell us about changes in your circumstances as soon as possible. If you don't tell us about these changes quickly you may lose out on benefit as the increase in your benefit may not be paid from the date that the change happens. To ensure that your benefit increases from the right date, you must tell us within one month of the change happening.
However, if you do not inform us of a change that causes an overpayment of Housing Benefit or a reduced entitlement to Council Tax Reduction, it will be amended from the actual date of change. This usually has to be paid back to us.
What is a change of circumstance?
Once you have been awarded Benefit, some of the things we need to know about include:
- If you or your partner stop getting Income Support, Jobseekers Allowance, Employment and Support Allowance or Universal Credit
- If you or your partner start to receive any state benefit/income not previously declared
- If you or your partner stops working
- If you or your partner have a pay rise or change in income
- If you or your partner has a significant change in capital
- If you or your partner has a change in capital taking the total over £16,000
- If the number of people living in your household changes
- If the income of a non-dependent changes
- If you rent privately, the rent changes
- If you move address
- If you are absent from your home for more than 4 weeks and outside of Great Britain (13 weeks inside the GB), or longer in certain circumstances
These changes may affect the amount of Benefit you get. If you have any changes, please use the link to the form to tell us about them. If you are not sure whether the change will affect your Benefit, tell us anyway.
To tell us of a change of circumstance, select the Change in Circumstance form.
What happens if I start work?
Extended Payments of Housing Benefit and Council Tax Reduction help long term unemployed people who find work by giving them four weeks extra Housing Benefit and Council Tax Reduction. A claimant is entitled to an extended payment where a claimant or partner starts work, or increases their hours of employment, which is expected to last at least five weeks and they were previously getting Jobseekers Allowance, Employment and Support Allowance or Income Support, for at least 26 weeks prior to starting work or increasing their hours.
What happens if I move address?
You must tell us straight away if you move address. If you rent from a private landlord, we will need to see your new tenancy agreement.
What happens if I have to pay rent at both properties?
Housing Benefit can be paid in some circumstances on "two homes", known as overlapping Housing Benefit, for a period of up to four weeks. This can only be awarded where:
- You have moved into the new property, and
- Your overlap in rent liability for both properties could not reasonably have been avoided
Overlapping HB can be awarded where a claimant has moved into a nursing home and still has "housing costs". Example being where a claimant has gone into nursing home for a trial and having decided to stay, giving notice to quit their tenancy.
Why do I need to tell you about these changes?
Most changes in circumstances affect your Housing and/or Council Tax Reduction from the Monday after they happen. If you don't tell us on time about a change which reduces your Benefit, and we find out later you will have received too much Benefit, this is called an overpayment (for Housing Benefit) or reduced reduction (for Council Tax Reduction). You will normally have to pay these back to the Council - so to avoid a large bill later, tell us about changes in circumstances as soon as they happen.
What happens after I have told you about a change?
We will write to you and tell you how the change has affected your Housing Benefit and/or Council Tax Reduction - if at all. If we haven't written to you within 2 weeks of you telling us about a change, you should contact the office to find out if we have dealt with your letter.
If your Benefit isn't changed straight away, we could be paying you too much Benefit that you would have to repay later.