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Changes in Circumstances

If you receive Housing Benefit, Council Tax Support or Free School Meals you must tell us about any changes in your or your family's circumstances. This is because it may affect the amount of Housing Benefit/Council Tax Support and Free School Meals you are entitled to.

If you have informed the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) or Her Majesty's Revenues and Customs (HMRC) about a change this does not mean that they will pass the information on to us. You must also tell us yourself.


Some of the changes that you must tell us about:
  • you or your partner's wages go up or down
  • you or your partner start working or change jobs
  • any state benefits that you or your partner receive change or stop
  • you or your partner start to receive a state benefit
  • anyone moves in or out of your home
  • the circumstances of anyone living with you changes
  • you or your partner's private pension goes up or down
  • you or your partner's savings go up or down
  • you or your partner have any other change which may affect your benefit

When do I have to let you know?


You must tell us about a change within one month of it happening, if you do not tell us you may lose out on Housing Benefit, or we may pay you too much benefit that you will have to pay back. The law says that you must report any changes that may affect your Council Tax Support within 21 days.


Information you need to tell us


You must tell us about the change and the date it happened. You must provide supporting evidence of the change in circumstances. We can only accept original documents. Photocopies are not accepted unless they are photocopied at a One Stop Centre or Housing Office.


How to tell us about your change of circumstances

You can download a change in circumstances form from the documents section. Or, you can write to us at Welfare and Benefits, Citizens and Communities, Selectapost 15, Leeds, LS2 8BA.


How to tell us about a change of address


You must tell us if you move address while you are in receipt of Housing Benefit and/or Council Tax Support. You can do this online or by downloading a form:
  • Online - go to report a change of address in Top Tasks.
  • Council Tenants and Homeowners - you can download this from the documents section COA (Change of Address) form
  • Private Tenants - you can download this from the documents section COA (Change of Address) form
You can also report any changes in circumstances at any One Stop Centre. To find your nearest One Stop Centre enter your postcode in the Where I Live section at the top of this page.


What happens next


We will write to tell you if your change in circumstances has changed the amount you are paid. If we have paid too much Housing Benefit (this is called an overpayment) and/or Council Tax Support you will have to pay it back. For more information see the related page Housing Benefit overpayments and Council Tax Support reductions.

If you disagree with a Housing Benefit overpayment decision you have the right to appeal – see the related page disputes and appeals for more information. ​​​​​
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