Housing Benefit or Council Tax Support change of circumstances

Housing Benefit or Council Tax Support - changes you must tell us about

You must tell us about any change which you think might affect your Housing Benefit or Council Tax Support entitlement.

Some common examples are:

  • changes in your rent or service charges
  • changes in your income, or the income of anyone living with you, including wages, tax credits and pensions
  • changes in your household or who lives with you, including people moving in or out, having a baby or moving in with a partner
  • changes to your benefits, or the benefits received by anyone living with you, including disability benefits, Income Support, Jobseeker's Allowance and Employment and Support Allowance
  • someone in your household becoming a student, apprentice or youth trainee
  • someone in your household being away from home, including in hospital or nursing care, or in prison

Going back to work

If you’re going back to work, you can still get Housing Benefit and Council Tax Support. The amount you get will be based on your new income.

You could also qualify an extended payment – the first 4 weeks’ benefit or support at the rate you were getting before you found work, instead of your new amount.

If you want to claim benefit while you are working, we will need to know:

  • your start date
  • your employer’s name and address
  • your normal hours and earnings
  • your childcare costs
  • about any other income or savings you have

We will ask to see proof of all your new circumstances to work out how much benefit you get. If you don’t have proof yet, you can download forms to be completed by your employer (PDF 53.9KB) and childcare provider (PDF 55.9KB) .

If you don’t want to carry on claiming, please tell us straight away, including the date you are starting work, so that you are not overpaid Housing Benefit or Council Tax Support. You may still qualify for an extended payment.

Extended payments

We will award you an extended payment of Housing Benefit and Council Tax Support, as long as:

  • you tell us about your new work within a month of starting
  • you will be working more than 16 hours per week (either by starting work or increasing your hours)
  • your new work is expected to last at least 5 weeks
  • you have been getting one of the qualifying benefits for at least 26 weeks

The qualifying benefits for an extended payment are:

  • Income Support, Income-based Jobseeker's Allowance or Income-related Employment and Support Allowance, or a combination of these
  • Incapacity Benefit, Severe Disablement Allowance or Contributory Employment and Support Allowance, or a combination of these

Moving home

If you move homes, please tell us straight away so that we can transfer your Housing Benefit and Council Tax Support to your new address. You do not need to make a new claim unless you are moving into Central Bedfordshire from another Local Authority area.

Please tell us:

  • the date you are moving
  • the date your tenancy starts (if this is different)
  • if there are any changes in your household when you move

We may ask you to fill in a form to help us get all the information we need about your new address.

We can normally only pay you Housing Benefit and Council Tax Support for one property at a time. However, if you could not avoid having 2 tenancies at the same time, we may be able to pay you extra Housing Benefit for up to 4 weeks after you move. Please tell us if you think you may need Housing Benefit on 2 homes at the same time.

Temporary absences

We can usually only pay Housing Benefit and Council Tax Support if you are living in a property as your home. Please tell us straight away if you are, or will be, away from home. We need to know the reason for your absence and how long you are intending to be away.

You can continue to get Housing Benefit if you are away from your home for up to 13 weeks for any reason, as long as you intend to return and are not likely to be away for more than 13 weeks.

If you are away for more than 13 weeks, you can still get Housing Benefit for up to 52 weeks, as long as you intend to return in that time and one of the following applies. You are:

  • in hospital, or getting medically approved care
  • staying in a care home (for example, during a period of respite care), but not if this is on a trial basis for future permanent care
  • away from home to provide someone with medically approved care, or to look after a child whose parent or guardian is getting medically approved care
  • away from home because of a fear of violence in your home from a former family member
  • in prison but have not yet been sentenced (on remand)
  • a student who is eligible for Housing Benefit, and you need to be away from home

We can only pay you Housing Benefit if you continue to be charged rent throughout your absence, and your property is not rented out to anyone else while you are away.

We need to know about any other changes in your circumstances which could affect your claim whilst you are away from home. These include if:

  • the amount of time you are going to be away changes
  • you change your mind about returning to your home
  • you have other changes which could affect your claim, such as changes to your income or household

Contact us

Telephone: 0300 300 8306
email: benefits@centralbedfordshire.gov.uk

Please quote your benefit claim reference in all correspondence – your claim reference is either an 8 digit number starting with 900, or a 5 digit number. You can find it on any letter we’ve sent about your Housing Benefit or Council Tax Support.

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