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Report changes in your circumstances

You must tell us immediately if your circumstances have changed in a way that might affect your benefits.

Telling another government department such as the Inland Revenue, Job Centre Plus or the Department for Works and Pensions does not mean that we will be notified about any changes.

When to tell us about changes

Tell us as soon as possible about any changes in your circumstances. If you don’t, you could lose payments or a benefit could be overpaid.

If you tell us within one month, we will usually calculate your new benefit entitlement from the Monday after the change happened.

If you inform us any later and the change increases your payments, we can only calculate new benefits from the Monday after you told us. This would mean that you lose money.

If the change reduces your benefits, we will always work out your new rate from the Monday after the change happened. If you delay telling us, you might be overpaid and have to repay benefits. For council tax reduction, we will amend your council tax account, and you will get a new bill showing that you have more to pay.

What to tell us

You should let us know what has changed and the date the change took place, giving as many details as possible. For example, we would need to know the full name and date of birth of someone who has moved in with you. Also provide the date they moved in.

Usually, we need some proof of any changes, and you can upload photocopied documents via our My Account form. Documents can be photocopied for free at any local library. We may ask you to provide originals, and more information on what to show us is here.

If you don’t have any evidence, do not delay in telling us about the change. You can provide proof later when it is available.

Some specific changes to tell us about

Below are examples of the types of changes you should tell us about.

Changes in benefits

For example, tell us if you or your partner stop receiving:

  • income support
  • jobseekers allowance
  • any other benefit

Changes in income

For example, tell us if there is a change in you or your partner’s:

  • wages
  • tax credits
  • maintenance
  • pension
  • any other income

People who live with you

For example, tell us if:

  • anyone moves in or out
  • someone who lives with you starts or stops work
  • there is a change in the income of someone who lives with you
  • a child is born
  • a child leaves school

Bank accounts, savings and investments

You must tell us if there are any changes in your bank accounts, savings or other investments. However you do not need to tell us about day-to-day changes to your current account, or the value of stock market shares.

Private rents

You must tell us if:

  • your landlord raises or lowers your rent
  • the services included in your rent change
  • the part of the property you live in changes

Other changes

You need to tell us if you:

  • move
  • live away from home
  • become a student or finish a course
  • enter hospital
  • enter prison
  • have a same-sex partner, whether or not your partnership has been registered in a civil ceremony

The above does not cover all of the changes that we need to know about. If you are not sure whether we need to know about a change, tell us anyway. Don’t leave it until the next time you fill in a claim form.


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