Housing Benefit - Guidance

Changes you need to Report

When you made a claim for Housing Benefit and/or Local Council Tax Support, you made a declaration that said that you would let us know about any change of circumstance for you or anyone living with you that could affect your claim.

Tell us Straight Away

You must report all changes for you and your partner (if you have one) and anyone else living with you, as and when they occur. You need to tell us this information within one month of the change for Housing Benefit and within 21 days for Local Council Tax Support. You can do this by emailing us at housing.benefit@iow.gov.uk (please include your claim number if known).

Any delay in telling us about a change could result in you losing out on potential benefit. In this situation any change in circumstance that may increase your benefit, will start from the day you tell us, not the date it happened.

You may have to repay any overpaid benefits and a penalty may be imposed if you delay or fail to tell us about a change in circumstance.

Examples of changes, which must be reported to the Benefits section are:

  • Any of your children leave school or leave home.
  • Anyone moves into or out of your home, including lodgers and subtenants.
  • Your income or the income of anyone living with you, including benefits, changes.
  • Your capital or savings change.
  • You or anyone living with you becomes a student, goes on a youth training scheme, goes into hospital or a nursing home, goes into prison, or  changes or leaves a job.
  • Your rent changes.
  • You move; you or your partner are going to be away from home for more than four weeks.
  • You or anyone living with you starts work.
  • You receive any decision from the Home Office.
  • Changes to Tax Credits.
  • If your Guaranteed Pension Credit/Income Support/Job Seeker Allowance ends; anything you have told us about changes.
  • If anyone leaves or comes to live with you.
  • If you, your partner or non-dependent(s) receive Universal Credit.
  • Anything you have told us about changes.
  • You get married, form a civil partnership or start living with someone as if you are married or civil partners.
  • If a child ceases full time education or takes up full time work or child benefit ceases.

You may need to provide documentary evidence of the change, you will be advised of this if it is required.

This is not a full list. If you are not sure, ask us for advice.

If you do not tell us about these changes, you may lose money you are entitled to or you may get too much benefit.

Don’t rely on someone else to pass the message on. It is an offence not to tell us about any change of circumstances that affect your benefit. We may take court action against you and if we pay you too much benefit, you will probably have to pay it back.

Penalties

You must report all changes for you and your partner (if you have one) and anyone else living with you, within one calendar month for Housing Benefit and within 21 days of the change for Local Council Tax Support. Penalties of up to £50 for Housing Benefit and £70 for Local Council Tax Support may be imposed by the authority where changes are notified outside of the relevant timescales.

You can also contact the council’s benefit department by emailing us at housing.benefit@iow.gov.uk (please include your claim number if known).

Additional Information

For additional forms or for guidance you may require in order to supply evidence of the change in circumstance, please select from the links we have provided below:

Forms

Leaflets