How changes to your circumstances can affect your Housing Benefits

Any changes in the circumstances of you or your family will affect the amount of help you are entitled to. If you fail to declare a change in circumstances then you may receive more money than you are entitled to - this is called an "overpayment" and you will have to repay this money.

The repayment(s) for an overpayment can be taken either in full from your ongoing Benefit payments or in regular instalments, and your local council will decide this. If there is a shortfall in any Housing Benefit paid to us because you have previously been overpaid, you will be responsible for paying said shortfall.

If you fail to declare a change in your circumstances to the council they can investigate you for Benefit fraud for which there are severe penalties. Your local council’s website will contain information about their investigation services and Benefit fraud. It is therefore important that you tell them about all changes as soon as possible.

The type of changes you must report include:

  • Changes in income including benefits and wages
  • Changes to the household including people moving in or out and the birth of children
  • Changes to Rent
  • Changes to savings / capital
  • If you start or stop work

If the number of people living in your property changes or you are unable to pay your rent because of a previous overpayment, you should contact us immediately to discuss this and if necessary update your details and/or arrange a payment plan. If you do not contact us your home could be at risk.