Housing Benefit – change in circumstances
It is your responsibility to make sure the details on your claim are up to date.
If you are receiving Universal Credit, you will need to contact Universal Credit to report a change in your circumstances.
If you are moving you will need complete a housing benefits change of address form.
If you are self employed you will need to complete a self employed earnings form.
We can impose a civil penalty of £50 if you don’t tell us about a change within 1 month.
What do we mean by a change in circumstance?
Examples of a change in circumstance include:
- Starting to claim Universal Credit
- Stopping or starting work, or changing employer
- A wage change following a change of hours, rate of pay or if you are off work sick.
- Starting to pay into a work based pension or paying for child care
- Your capital (the total amount held in all of your accounts) reaching £6000, £10000 or £16000
- A child leaving school or if you stop receiving Child Benefit
- Receiving an annual pension increase, even if it’s only a small amount
- Anyone moving in or out of your home
- Having a baby
- Starting to receive benefits for a disability or carer’s allowance
- A change in income or other benefits for anyone in the household
- A change in your rent or service charges
- Moving house
You must tell us immediately of any changes in circumstance for you, or anyone living in your home, even if you don’t think the change will make a difference to your claim.
If you cannot find the relevant form above, contact us to let us know about your changes.
What evidence will I need to provide?
All evidence must be the original documentation and show the date of change as well as the new details.
Evidence could be:
- Your signed tenancy agreement showing the start date and amount of rental liability.
- A letter from your landlord showing a change in rent.
- Payslips, the last one showing the old amount and the first one showing the new amount.
- A letter from the employer detailing the date of change and the new amount.
- An award letter from other agencies detailing a new award or a change to income, such as Child Benefit, a private pension or incapacity benefit.
- Confirmation that you have claimed Universal Credit (your housing costs will be paid as part of this and your Housing Benefit claim will be ended).
- Bank statements showing the date of any significant change in capital (if you have over £6000 in total).
- Birth certificates or Child Benefit award letters confirming responsibility for a child.
- Legal documentation, for example immigration status, bankruptcy or court orders.
Customers who receive Pension Credit should report any change to the Pension Service.
If you do not have the necessary evidence, do not wait. Tell us about the change and we can collect the documents at a later date.
Why do I need to tell you?
Even if you don’t think a change will make a difference to your claim, it may affect the premiums or amount of eligible rent used to calculate the amount of Housing Benefit or Council Tax Support that you should receive. This means that you may be entitled to more, or less, benefit.
Any delay in reporting changes could mean you lose money that is due to you, or may mean that we have paid you too much, and in most cases we would ask you to repay this.
We will usually suspend your claim when we have been told about a change. This means payments will temporarily stop. We do this to try to prevent overpayment.
We will usually need more information about your new circumstances to reassess your claim and remove the suspension. If we write to you, you must reply to us within one month.
The easiest way to provide your evidence is to use our upload form.