Report a change in your circumstances

If anything happens which might affect how much benefit you get, you must tell us immediately.

How to tell us about change of circumstance

Tell us about a change in the area that you live in:

Allerdale area: report a change

Carlisle area: report a change

Copeland area: report a change

If you need help, you can contact the team in your area

What you’ll need to provide

You must send original documents to prove any change in your income, savings, accommodation or the circumstances of other people in your home. 

If you cannot provide proof of the change now you should still report the change immediately.

Please give an indication of when you will be able to provide proof of the change, and send the proof as soon as you can. We will write to you if we require any additional information.

    If you don't tell us about a change

    If you don't tell us about a change and we pay you too much benefit, you may have to pay it back.

    It is now a criminal offence for a person, dishonestly or without reasonable excuse, to fail to notify us of a change of circumstances that they are required by regulations to report. This applies to landlords as well as claimants.

    Even if you notify the Department for Work and Pensions or the Inland Revenue of any change, you'll need to let us know separately.

    Changes that impact your benefits

    Some examples of changes to be reported are as follows:

    • you start or stop getting Income Support, Job Seekers Allowance, Employment and Support Allowance, Universal Credit or Pension Credit
    • you start or stop getting Working or Child Tax credits
    • you are now receiving Carers Allowance because you're looking after someone that is not a member of your household
    • the amount of money you or your partner gets changes
    • the money non-dependants get changes
    • there are any other changes in the money people in your home get.  For example, someone starts getting Personal Independence Payments

    You must also tell us if:

    • you change your address
    • there is a change in your rent
    • the number of people in your home changes
    • you, or your partner, go into hospital
    • you, or your partner, become a student, or stop being a student
    • the amount of savings or capital you have changes

    If you are in any doubt about whether or not you should report a change, contact us.

    If the change increases your entitlement

    If you have a change in your circumstance which increases your entitlement to Housing Benefit and do not tell us within one month, the change will only be effective from the date you notify the Benefit Team.

    If the change reduces your entitlement 

    It will be applied from the date of the change and we will require you to repay any benefit which you have been overpaid.

    If you temporarily leave your home

    You can continue to receive Housing Benefit if you are temporarily away from home for up to 4, 13, 26 or 52 weeks, depending on your circumstances.

    Find out more about temporary absence from the home

    If you have a query, contact the Benefit Team