Change of circumstances
If you receive housing benefit or council tax support, you must tell us immediately if you or the people living with you have any changes in circumstances.
Some changes may mean you are entitled to more benefits, but others could mean you no longer qualify for benefits or should receive a lower amount.
Always report any change in circumstances as soon as it happens.
How do I report a change of circumstances?
Change of address
If you move home and want to continue to claim housing benefit or council tax support for your new home, please use our change of address forms:
- Change of address form for council tenants and people who own their own home
- Change of address form for private landlord (non council) tenants
Which changes should I report?
Examples of changes you should report are:
- Your or your partner’s income goes up or down
- Your or your partner’s savings go up or down
- You or your partner start or stop working
- Your or your partner’s benefits change
- Anyone joins or leaves your household
- The income or capital of any non-dependant in your household changes
- You rent from a private landlord or housing association and your rent changes
- You rent from a private landlord and the type of tenancy you have changes
- You move to a new home
If you’re not sure whether you need to report a change, ring our benefits advice line on 0300 1234 121 to check.
You will need to provide proof of any change in circumstances. Please provide photocopies, ensuring that they are clear and show the whole document. Post the documents to the address shown on the form or letter that we send you.
When should I report a change?
If you tell us about changes as soon as they happen, we can adjust your claim quickly. This means you’ll be paid the right amount of benefit, and it will help prevent benefit overpayments.
When will my benefit change?
If your change in circumstance means you’ll get more benefit, your benefit will usually go up from the Monday after you tell us about the change. If you don’t tell us about changes promptly, you’ll miss out on benefit owed to you.
If your change in circumstances means you’ll get less benefit, your benefit will usually go down from the Monday after the date of the change.
Do landlords need to report changes?
If you’re a landlord, you must tell us about any changes you are aware of. For example, if your tenant moves out of the property you are letting.
Do pensioners need to report changes?
If you’re a pensioner receiving either guaranteed pension credit or savings pension credit, you don’t have to tell us about any change in your income. You need to tell the Pension Service instead. They’ll work out your income level and tell us what it is. The Pension Service will need to know that you’re claiming housing benefit or council tax support.
You should report all other changes to us.
What happens if I don’t report a change?
If you don’t tell us promptly about a change of circumstances, we may take action against you. This could include going to court, a fine or a formal warning called a caution.