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

It helps us to work out your new Benefit / Support quickly if you provide all the information and evidence we need straightaway. Do not delay reporting your change if you do not have all of the supporting evidence. This can be supplied after you have submitted your change in circumstance.

Report a change in circumstance

Types of changes of circumstance can include:

  • A change in income or finances of you, your partner or any other adults or children who live in your home
  • A change in savings/capital of you, your partner or any other adults or children who live in your home
  • A change to the number of adults or children who live in your home
  • A change of address, a change in the amount of rent you pay or a change in your tenancy
  • A change because you, your partner or any other adults or children who live in your home are temporarily absent. This includes going on holiday for 4 weeks or more, moving to a different address, staying with friends or relatives, going into hospital or a care home
  • A change because you, your partner or any other adults who live in your home go into prison or are held on remand.

Advice for people receiving Universal Credit, Job Seekers Allowance or Income Support

If you receive a benefit from DWP such as Universal Credit, Employment Support Allowance, Job Seeker’s Allowance etc. and the amount you receive changes the DWP will advise the council. However, if you stop being entitled to a DWP benefit you need to tell the council straight away.

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

Yes. If you get Universal Credit, Income Support, Job Seeker's Allowance, Employment and Support Allowance or any other social security benefit you need to tell The Department for Work and Pensions straight away.
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.

Circumstances Outside GB Inside GB  Council Tax Reduction (in or out of GB)
Holiday 4 weeks 13 weeks 13 weeks
Trial in a care home 4 weeks 13 weeks 13 weeks
In hospital 26 weeks 52 weeks 52 weeks
Looking after a child who's parent/guardian is in hospital 4 weeks 52 weeks 52 weeks
Remanded or on bail but not yet found guilty 4 weeks 52 weeks 52 weeks
Fear of domestic violence 26 weeks 52 weeks 52 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.

Informing the council of absence from home

It is important you notify the council quickly so that we can pay you the right amount of Benefit/Support.

Report a change in circumstances

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

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 Support.

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 Support that you received before you started work. You can speak to the council's Support 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 Support 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

Please see the Downloads section.

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