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Reporting a change in circumstances

Your Housing Benefit is based on the information in your latest decision letter. Your award might be affected if your circumstances change.
 
To make sure you’re getting the award you are entitled to, you need to let us know about any changes straight away.

Tell us about a change in circumstances

We prefer you to tell us about any changes online. This speeds things up, saves public money and frees up time so we can support those who are unable to apply online.
 
Please give us as much information as you can so we can update your details as quickly as possible. Even if you do not have all your supporting documents, you should still tell us about your change in circumstance.

What you need to tell us about

You need to let us know about any changes to:

  • the people that live in your house
  • the income of anyone in your house
  • your capital.

If you’re not sure if your change in circumstance will affect your benefits, tell us anyway.

People who live in your household

You must let us know if:

  • anyone moves into or out of your home, including lodgers and subtenants
  • you have a child
  • any of your children leave school or leave home
  • you or your partner are going to be away from home for four weeks or more
  • someone you live with dies

Where you live

You must let us know if you move (this includes moving to another flat or room at the same address).

Please note: If you are moving to a different council area, you may need to apply for Universal Credit.

Your income

You must let us know if:

  • your income or income of anyone living with you changes, including getting other benefits, for example, Tax Credits
  • you or your partner's wages go up or down
  • you or anyone living with you starts work
  • you or your partner have started, changed or lost their job.

Your capital

You must let us know if:

  • your capital or savings change
  • We need to know if you have more than £6,000 if you are working age, £10,000 if you are of State Pension Credit Qualifying Age, or if have more than £16,000 in your bank account or in assets.

When you need to tell us

You need to tell us about a change in your circumstances within one month.

It's important that you let us know as quickly as possible because you may:

  • miss out on money you're entitled to
  • be overpaid
  • need to pay a financial penalty.

You or your partner are temporarily absent from your property

There may be times when you need to be away from your property either within the UK or outside of the UK, for example for health reasons, because of a crisis, to visit family and friends or because of a holiday.

It’s important that you tell us straight away if you are going to be away from your property. If we try to contact you and we’re not aware of your absence, your Council Tax Support may be cancelled.

Below are a few examples of when you may still qualify for Benefit whilst being absent from your property if:

  • you're absent from your property for less than 13 weeks (so long as the absence is within Great Britain)
  • you're absent from your property outside of Great Britain for a maximum of 4 weeks
  • the absence is for approved medical care (evidence may be requested) up to 52 weeks if this is within Great Britain or up to 26 weeks outside of Great Britain.

Remember, tell us straight away if you're going away.

Other changes not covered above

If you've had a change in your circumstances and it's not listed above, please contact us anyway.

Report changes

Bournemouth residents

For reporting all changes, use the change of circumstances form.

Christchurch and Poole residents

To change your address, please use the online change of address form.

If you are moving to a different council area, you may need to apply for Universal Credit.

For all other change in circumstances, please complete the online change of circumstances form.

What will happen next

We’ll aim to write to you within two weeks of you letting us know about the change in circumstances, even if there’s no change to your benefit.

If you have an online account, you can log in to see if the change of circumstance has been applied to your award.

Please contact us for any help you need with Housing Benefit.