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Change of circumstances

If you become entitled to Housing Benefit and/or Council Tax Support, you will have a duty to make sure that you tell us immediately about any changes in circumstances that you or the people living with you may have.

When you claim Housing Benefit and/or Council Tax Support the "golden rule" is always report any change in circumstances as soon as they happen.


Some changes may mean you are entitled to new or additional benefits, but others could mean you no longer qualify for benefit, or should receive a lower amount.

If you tell us of changes as soon as they happen we can adjust your claim quickly.  This means you will be paid the right amount of benefit and it will help prevent benefit overpayments from occurring.

Examples of changes you should report are:

  • You or your partner’s income goes up or down
  • You or your partner’s savings go up or down
  • You or your partner start or stop working
  • You or your partner’s benefits change
  • Anyone joins or leaves your household
  • The income or capital of any non-dependant in your household changes

To report your change of circumstances please call on 0300 1234 121 or complete the change in circumstances form and send it to your local office.  You can also visit your nearest one stop shop or out and about venue. You can also email us at benefits@cornwall.gov.uk

If you move home and want to continue to claim housing benefit or council tax support for your new home, please use these change of address forms:

Remember, no matter how small the change is, always make sure you tell the Council’s Benefits section of all changes in your circumstances.

If you fail to promptly report a change in your personal circumstances you are committing a criminal offence.  This could ultimately result in you being prosecuted and ending up with a criminal record.

If you are a landlord you also have a duty to inform us of any changes which you could reasonably expect to know about.  For example, if your tenant moves out of the property you are letting.

If you are a pensioner receiving either Guaranteed Pension Credit or Savings Pension Credit you do not have to notify us of any change of your income.  You should however inform the Pension Service who will advise you of what action you need to take, if any, and they will work out the level of your income.  They will then tell us what your income is.  They will need to know that you have claimed Housing and/or Council Tax Support.

Whatever the change, no matter how small it may seem, please be sure to tell us.

If you are in any doubt and would like advice please contact the Benefit department on 0300 1234 121.

Important note

You must inform us of your changes in circumstances.  If you inform us outside this time limit and the change is in your favour (ie you will get more benefit), we will only take the change from the Monday after you have informed us.  This will mean that you miss out on benefit owed to you.

Any change which is not in your favour (ie you will get less benefit), will always be taken from the Monday following the date of change.

You will need to provide documentary evidence of any information you provide.  We can only accept original documents (photocopies are not acceptable).

Please do not send valuable items to us in the post.


0300 1234 121