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Changes in circumstances

If you are claiming Housing Benefit or Council Tax Support, you need to tell us about changes in your circumstances straight away.

A change may affect how much you can claim.

You must tell us if you, or anyone else in the property:

  • Income goes up or down

  • Savings go up or down

  • Move in or move out

  • Rent changes

  • Start or stop a job, school or university

  • Start or stop receiving any state benefit such as Income Support, Job Seekers Allowance, Employment Support Allowance, Universal Credit, Tax Credits, Child Benefit, Pension Credit, Disability Living Allowance or a Personal Independence Payment

  • If you are going to be away from your property for more than 4 weeks

This list is not exhaustive. Please contact us if you are unsure.

Contact us

Tell us about a change

Report a change of circumstances

You will need a digital copy of your evidence or a way of photographing or scanning it (for example, a smartphone).

Alternatively, you can tell us about a change by emailing benefits@stalbans.gov.uk. Don’t forget to include your name and address, details of what has changed and when the change happened.

Don’t delay telling us

  • You need to tell us about any change in your circumstances which increases your benefit, within one calendar month of the change happening. Otherwise your benefit will only increase from the Monday after we receive the notification. This is unless you can show us that there was a very good reason for the delay.

  • Failure to report a change in circumstances may result in an overpayment of benefit which will be recoverable from you.

  • If you deliberately don’t tell us about a change in order to continue to receive benefit action may be taken against you. This includes prosecution in Court.

Data matching

We sometimes match the data we hold about your claim with information held by Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs (HMRC) and the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). This is to make sure your entitlement is correct. If there is a discrepancy and you have been overpaid, we will require this to be paid back. We may need to report this to the DWP if it looks like fraud may have taken place.