If your circumstances change it's your responsibility to let us know immediately. The more information you provide, the faster we'll be able to process the change. We may require proof of the change you're reporting. If you don't tell us about these changes as soon as they occur, you may lose money you're entitled to, or you may get too much benefit. If we pay you too much benefit, you'll have to pay it back.
What's considered a change in circumstances?
A change of circumstances can be any change to your household which could affect the amount of rent or council tax you pay or the amount of benefit we award.
For example, common changes of circumstances are:
- Somebody moves in or out of your home
- Any of your children leave school or leave home
- Your income, or the income of anyone living with you, changes
- Your capital or savings change
- You, or anyone living with you, becomes a student, goes into hospital or a nursing home, goes into prison or goes onto a youth training scheme
- You, or anyone living with you, gets a job
- You, or anyone living with you, changes job
- You, or anyone living with you, leaves a job
- Your rent changes
- You move
This list isn't exhaustive. If in doubt tell us anyway, and we'll inform you if there's any affect.
If you currently receive housing benefit and/or council tax support and are changing address, you’ll need to complete a change of address form which can be accessed by clicking on the green button above. You’ll need to provide your new tenancy agreement and proof of any other changes
Alternatively you can print off and complete a change of address form and return it to us with your tenancy agreement and any other additional information.
When do I need to inform the Benefits Service that my circumstances have changed?
You should tell us as soon as the change happens. Any delay in telling us could result in you missing out on benefit or having to pay us money back. If you know about a change which is due to happen in the next few weeks you can tell us about it now. You must send us proof of the change if appropriate.
If you tell us about a change that will result in less benefit being paid to you, we'll usually amend your benefit from the Monday after the date on which your change in circumstances happened, regardless of when you tell us about the change.
If the change in your circumstances means that your benefit entitlement will be more than it was, the date you tell us about the change will be very important. If you tell us within one month of the date on which the change happened, we'll usually amend your benefit from the date the change happens. However, if you tell us about the change more than a month after it happened, we'll only amend your benefit from the Monday after the date you told us about it.
What if I or my partner receive pension credit?
If you or your partner are in receipt of pension credit savings credit (and don't receive any guaranteed credit) you'll need to notify us about changes as normal. If you or your partner are in receipt of pension credit guaranteed credit, you only need to tell us about changes to:
- Your rent/tenancy
- The income of any non-dependants living with you
- Your address if you move (either permanently or temporarily)
- Your pension credit (guarantee), ie if your entitlement ceases
- Your household (if someone else moves in or out)
Notifying other benefits and tax credits
It's important that you tell the DWP and HMRC about any change which could affect the other benefits or tax credits you receive. Our Benefits Service is not responsible for reporting changes to other organisations on your behalf. Failure to report a change in circumstances to the appropriate office may result in an error in your payments, which can be classed as fraudulent.