What to do if your circumstances change

What you must tell us

Lives change and some changes may have an impact on a claim for Housing Benefit. This may affect you if we are assessing your claim or we are already paying you.

If your circumstances change you must tell us right away. Any change may affect the amount of Housing Benefit you qualify for – it’s the law. 

If the change means you will get more Housing Benefit and you don't tell us, you could miss out.  If the change means you get less Housing Benefit we may pay you too much and you will have to pay it back.

You can read more in our section on:

 

 

What counts as a change in circumstances?

The following gives lots of information on the changes you must tell us about.  Please read them all.  The changes may affect you, your partner’s, or anyone else living in your home.

 

Learn more about the changes in circumstances you must tell us about

You must tell us if:

  • you, your partner, or anyone living with you starts or stops receiving:
    • Income Support
    • Jobseeker’s Allowance (income-based)
    • Employment and Support Allowance (income-related)
    • Guaranteed Pension Credit 
    • Universal Credit
  • you, your partner, or anyone else living in your home
    • earnings go up or down
    • change the number of hours worked
    • change employer
    • get a second job
  • there is any change to income, benefits or tax credits for you, your partner, or anyone else living in your home
  • there is a change in the amount or type of capital / savings / investments / shares held by you or your partner
  • you, your partner, or anyone else living in your home:
    • starts or stops getting a private / occupational pension; or
    • the amount paid changes
  • anyone starts or stops receiving Carer’s Allowance for looking after you or your partner
  • you or your partner starts or stops receiving Carer’s Allowance
  • you start or stop paying childcare costs or the amount paid goes up or down

You must tell us if:

  • a partner moves in or out
  • anyone else moves into or out of your home - this includes lodgers, sub-tenants and joint tenants
  • there is a change in the make-up of your tenancy

You must tell us if: 

  • a child joins or leaves your household
  • you start or stop getting Child Benefit 
  • you start or stop paying childcare costs
  • the amount of childcare costs you pay increases or decreases
  • any of your children leave school, start work or start to get benefits
  • you or anyone else living in your home becomes responsible for another child

You must tell us if you, your partner or anyone living with you stop living in the home that you claim Housing Benefit for.

For example you must tell us if:

  • you or your partner leaves Northern Ireland (tell us before you go and tell us when you return home)
  • you or your partner goes in to prison
  • you or your partner go into hospital or a nursing home, (tell us the date you go in and when you come home)

You must tell us if:

  • you change address, even if this is to another room in the same property
  • the amount of rent or rates you have to pay increases or decreases
  • you need an extra room for a carer to stay overnight in your home
  • you no longer need an extra room for a carer to stay overnight in your home
  • you need an extra room because you (or someone living with you) could not share a room because of a disability or medical reason
  • you no longer need an extra room because you (or someone living with you) could not share a room because of a disability or medical reason

Housing Executive / housing association tenants should:

Complete our online:

Or

Complete the Change of address – social landlord  form and return it to your local Housing Benefit office. You can download the:

Private Rented sector tenants should:

Complete our online:

Or

Complete the Change of address - private landlord form and return it to your local Housing Benefit office. You can download the:

You must tell us if:

  • you, your partner, or anyone else living in your home:
  • starts or stops being a student; or
  • starts or ends a training course
  • you receive any decision from the Home Office in relation to a right to live in the United Kingdom

What if I do not report a change in circumstances? 

If you do not report a change you may be committing an offence. This could result in court action against you. It could also mean you lose out on getting more Housing Benefit if you don’t tell us, or are slow to tell us.  

If we pay you too much Housing Benefit we expect you to pay it back. You can read more in our section on:

If you are still getting Housing Benefit we will take some of it each week until it is repaid. Or we may arrange to take it out of other benefits you are being paid.  We will write to tell you what actions we are taking.

If you are no longer getting Housing Benefit we will work with you to arrange another way for you to repay.

Quick online calculation for Housing Benefit

The Housing Benefit calculator will help you to see if your new circumstances will affect what you are being paid.

The calculator only provides an estimate - it is not the actual amount you will receive.

Even if you think the change will not affect your Housing Benefit you must tell us.

 

How do I report a change in circumstances? 

Report a change of circumstances

 

By telephone: 03448 920 902 | NGT* 18001 03448 920 902. 

To confirm your identity we will ask you for:

  • your name, address, date of birth and National Insurance Number

In person: at your local Housing Executive office.

In writing:  You can download and complete the Housing Benefit forms listed below and send them in by post.

Send us 5 weekly or 2 monthly or 3 fortnightly payslips

or

ask your employer to complete and sign a Certificate of earnings form

or

complete the online Self-Employed form

or

Download the Self-Employment (SE1) form, complete and return to your local Housing Benefit unit

 

Housing Executive / housing association tenant should complete:

Private Rented sector tenants should complete:

Complete and return the:

Complete and return the online:

We usually need to see evidence of the change in your circumstances. 

For example:

  • wage slips showing a change in earnings

  • providing a new address for someone who has left your household

The information in this section is for general advice only.

Contact your local Housing Benefit office if you have any queries.


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Overpayment of Housing Benefit
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