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Housing benefit – changes in your circumstances

You must tell us about any change in your circumstance that may affect your housing benefit entitlement.

Examples of changes you need to tell us about

Changes we need to know about include:

  • your rent changes (see when to report changes to your rent)

  • your income support, jobseeker's allowance, employment support allowance or guarantee credit stops

  • you start work

  • your earnings increase

  • someone comes to live with you or leaves

  • you change your address

  • your savings or capital increase.

Read our guide on how to submit your evidence online.

Universal credit

Certain changes in your circumstances may mean you will be better off claiming universal credit. To find out more about universal credit and why it might be a better option for you please visit the government’s universal credit website.

Universal credit is being introduced in different areas at different times. To find out if you can apply for universal credit, check if your postcode is in the universal credit full-service area.

You will need to inform us if you make a universal credit claim as you will no longer be eligible for housing benefit. This is because any housing cost entitlement will be met through your universal credit.

Apply for universal credit.

How we check your claim

Fraud and error cause customers to lose out on benefit, create overpayments and contribute to financial hardship.

To stop this, we periodically check that our customers are getting the right amount of benefit. We review customers’ claims throughout the year, to identify unreported changes in circumstances.

What areas we look at

We can review all aspects of your claim or look at only one area (for example, earned income).

What you need to do

When we review your claim, we will write to you asking you to provide information and evidence.

Please provide photocopies and not original documents, unless otherwise specified.

Alternatively you can post evidence to us.

What information we ask for

We may ask you to provide information on your earnings, tax credits, capital and investments. If you live with other people, we may ask you to provide evidence of their income.

Cross-checking information with the Department for Work and Pensions

We can check some income types without contacting you, by cross-checking the information we hold against data held by the Department for Work and Pensions.

Examples are:

  • income support

  • jobseeker's allowance

  • guarantee credit

  • savings credit

  • state retirement pension

  • incapacity benefit

  • employment support allowance.

How long you have to respond

When we review your claim, we will give you one calendar month to supply the evidence and information.

What happens if you don’t respond

If you do not do this, we will suspend your benefit payments for a further month. If you have still not responded, we will terminate your claim and you will have to reapply.