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Changes in circumstance

If you have any changes in circumstance whilst claiming benefits or council tax reductions you should inform the council straight away.

  • we will need to work out your Benefit/Reduction again because we don't want to pay you too much or too little
  • if you delay telling us about a change in circumstances that will increase your benefit we may not be able to backdate the change
  • we want to pay you the right amount of Benefit/Reduction now, so we don't have to ask you to pay money back later if we overpay you

Please contact us to inform us of a change in circumstance.

What do you need to tell us?

The below is not a complete list. If you are not sure, contact us and we will tell you if it will affect your Housing or Council Tax Benefit.

A change in income of you, your partner, any other adults or children who live in your home such as:

  • earnings going up or down
  • getting a new benefit/pension/tax credit
  • losing a benefit/pension/tax credit
  • the amount of benefit/pension/tax credit changes
  • getting an occupational or private pension
  • a change in an occupational or private pension
  • income Support/Job Seekers Allowance starting or ending

A change in savings/capital of you, your partner, any other adults or children who live in your home:

  • bank, building society or other accounts going up or down
  • getting new bank, building society or other savings/capital

A change in your family and/or other people who live with you:

  • a birth
  • a marriage
  • a child leaving school
  • someone leaving or joining your home
  • fostering a child
  • a disability
  • someone going into/out of hospital
  • a bereavement

A change in your home

  • moving into a new home
  • your rent going up or down if you are a private tenant
  • a change in the sort of tenancy you have if you are a private tenant.

It is important that you tell us the date(s) of any changes and provide evidence such as your wage slips if your wages have changed.

Returning a change of circumstances form

It is important you complete and return this form quickly, so that we can pay you the right amount of Benefit/Reduction as soon as possible.

pdf icon Change in circumstances form [82kb]

It helps us to work out your new Benefit/Reduction quickly if you provide all the information and evidence we need straightaway but don't hold onto this form because you do not have all of the supporting evidence - bring or send this as soon as you can.

If you bring in the evidence we need we will photocopy it straightaway free of charge and give it back to you.

Do I need to tell anyone else if my circumstances have changed?

Yes. If you get Income Support, Job Seeker's Allowance or any other social security benefit you need to tell the Job Centre straightaway. 

If you are in receipt of Pension Credit  you must also tell the State Pension Service of any changes.

An absence from home

From 28th July 2016, the rules on temporary absence whilst claiming Housing Benefit have changed. There are different rules depending on your circumstances and whether your absence is within Great Britain (England, Scotland and Wales excluding Northern Ireland and the Channel Islands). Different rules also apply for Council Tax reduction. The following table gives examples of the time periods allowed.

CircumstancesOutside GBInside GB Council Tax Reduction (in or out of GB)
Holiday4 weeks13 weeks13 weeks
Trial in a care home4 weeks13 weeks13 weeks
In hospital26 weeks52 weeks52 weeks
Looking after a child who's parent/guardian is in hospital4 weeks52 weeks52 weeks
Remanded or on bail but not yet found guilty4 weeks52 weeks52 weeks
Fear of domestic violence26 weeks52 weeks52 weeks

A further period may be allowed if you are absent from Great Britain due to the death of a partner, child or close relative. Please ensure that this information is given when you notify us of your absence.

For more information regarding temporary absence, please contact Customer Services on 01902 551166.

Informing the council of an absence from home

You can write to us explaining when you are going away and when you expect to be back, or you can download and return the form below:

pdf icon Notification of absence from home [73kb]

Changes to employment status and extended payments

If you get benefits or pensions from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and your employment and you go back into employment you need to inform both parties.

If you have been receiving Income Support, Income based Job Seekers Allowance, Incapacity Benefit, Employment and Support Allowance (Income Related) or Severe Disablement Allowance for 26 weeks or more before starting work you may be entitled to an Extended Payment of Housing Benefit and/or Council Tax Benefit.

This means that for the first 4 weeks after you start work you will continue to get the same amount of Housing and/or Council Tax Benefit that you received before you started work. You can speak to the council's Benefit Service, the Job Centre or DWP about extended payments.

What do we need to know?

  • the date you started work
  • the name and address of your employer
  • if you still want to claim Housing and Council Tax Benefit based on your wages
  • If you have taken a temporary job, that the job will last for five weeks or more

I still want to claim as my wages are low

We will need proof of  your wages.

If you have not been paid yet ask your employer for an estimate of your wages, Income Tax and National Insurance payments or give your employer the certificate of earnings form below to complete and return to us. If you have a contract or letter of appointment to your new job which shows details of your pay you could provide this.

When you have received your first wage slips you will need to send them to the Benefit office if they are different from the first proof you provided.

We will also need proof of any other income, savings or capital that you have.

Certificate of earnings

This can be printed to give to your employer to complete and returned to us:

pdf icon Certificate of earnings [51kb]