From November 2018 if you need to start a new Housing Benefit claim you may have to claim Universal Credit.
You must tell us about a change of circumstances within one calendar month of the change taking place or you could be losing out or have to pay back any benefits you have received and are not entitled to.
Changes you should tell us about
Here are some examples of changes you need to tell us about. If there are any other changes that you think could affect your benefits please tell us anyway and we can check for you. We will tell you if you need to send us any supporting evidence:
- a change regarding who lives with you
- if you start work
- if you have had a recent bereavement - please see our 'Telling us about a Bereavement factsheet'
- a change in your wages, private pension or any other income you receive
- a change to the amount of rent you pay
- if you start or stop receiving Income Support, Jobseeker's Allowance or Employment and Support Allowance
- if you start or stop receiving any other benefit
- if your capital, such as savings and investments changes
- temporary absence from home - please see our 'Temporary absence from Great Britain factsheet'
- if your partner, your dependants or your non-dependants have a change in their circumstances, as it may affect your entitlement to Housing Benefit and Council Tax Support
Supporting evidence required
You must provide documentary proof of the changes you have told us about immediately. The information you need to provide will depend on what has changed. Please read the information below to identify what further information we require to process your change in circumstance:
If you are reporting a change in earnings and are paid weekly you must send us your most recent 5 wage slips; if you are paid fortnightly you must send us your most recent 3 wage slips; if you are paid monthly you must send us your most recent 2 wage slips. All wage slips must be consecutive.
If you are reporting a change in self-employed earnings then you must send us your latest set of self-employed accounts. If you are reporting a change in any other income, you will need to provide evidence of the income that you or your partner receives, such as Child Benefit award letters, pension slips from former employer, benefit award letters, student grant or loan award letters, proof of maintenance payments.
If you are reporting a change in capital and you and your partner have less than £6,000 total capital, we do not need you to provide proof, but you must have listed all your capital and told us the value of each.
If you have more than £6,000 we will need to see proof such as statements covering the last 2 months for all accounts held. For all other investments and capital, provide certificates or other documentation.
If you are reporting a change in money you pay out and you pay for child care, send us details showing the childminder’s name, address, registration number, cost, name of children and periods of care.
If you make a parental contribution to a student, please provide proof of the amount you have to pay.
If you are reporting a change in income of other people who live with you then we need to see proof of their income. If you are reporting a partner moving in we need to see proof of their National Insurance number, such as National Insurance number card, payslip from their current employer, letter from the DWP or HMRC, P45, P60.
In addition, we need to see proof of their identity, such as birth certificate, marriage certificate, passport, medical card, driving licence, UK residence permit, EEC identity card. You must also provide proof of all their income and capital – see income and capital above.
If you are reporting a change in rent, or a change of address, then we need to see a current tenancy agreement showing the full name and address of your landlord, tenancy start date, the amount of rent charged and a breakdown of any services included in the rent.
If you have reported more than one change you will need to provide the evidence detailed above for each of your changes in circumstance. Any documents supplied must be originals, as copies are not acceptable. You can submit proofs at our First Point office, or any Area Housing Office.
If you've told us before you move
If you’ve told us about your move before the date you move in, you must contact us immediately once you actually start living at the property. This is because we need to confirm the date you moved in.
You must also provide your tenancy agreement, unless you are living in a council house or you are only claiming Council Tax Support.
If you leave Great Britain temporarily
The period that a person can be temporarily absent from their home and still qualify for Housing Benefit will reduce to 4 weeks where that absence is from Great Britain.
This may be extended in special circumstances to 8 weeks or 26 weeks. Our 'Temporary absence from Great Britain factsheet' has more information about this.