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Housing Benefit and Council Tax Support - Change in Circumstances

Important Information: The benefits claim form and the change in circumstances form will will be unavailable on Monday 5 October between 8.00am to 12 noon due to essential maintenance. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.

Telling us online is the quickest way to let us know.

 Report a Change in Circumstances here

If you receive housing benefit and/or council tax support and your circumstances change, you must tell us immediately. Changes can affect the amount of benefit you’re entitled to or how much council tax you need to pay. If you don’t tell us about any changes, we might not pay you enough benefit and you could miss out, or we might pay you too much and you may have to pay it back. Use the button at the top of this page to tell us about your change.

What changes do you need to tell us about?

We need to know if:

  • Your or your partner, if you have one, start or stop receiving benefits, for example
    • Income support
    • Jobseekers allowance
    • Employment and support allowance
    • Incapacity or sickness benefit
    • Tax credits
    • Any other benefits
  • If the amount of benefit you or your partner receive changes
    • Please note that if you have recently started work and you have already told Jobcentre Plus, you don’t need to tell us as well.

If you have recently started work, you can find out about benefits and other help that may be available on the GOV.UK website

  • If your or your partner’s, income stops, starts, goes up or goes down. Income includes:
    • Wages
    • Tax credits
    • Maintenance payments
    • Pensions/occupational or works pension
  • If you or your partner have savings, you need to tell us if
    • They go over £6,000 for the first time:
    • They go over £16,000
    • If you are working age, having savings of £6,000 or more, and they increase by £250 or more
    • You or your partner reach the qualifying age for state pension credit and your savings go over £10,000 for the first time
    • Your savings decrease significantly because you have had to spend some.

You don’t need to tell us about minor or day to day changes in your current account or any stocks/shares you may hold.

  • If your household changes, for example:
    • Someone moves in or moves out
    • Your partner moves in or moves out
    • You get married
    • You sublet
    • If someone who lives with you has a change in income
    • If any of your children leave school
    • If you stop receiving child benefit for any of your children
    • When any of your children become 18; you will also need to let us know if they are staying at school, going to college, starting work or claiming benefits
  • If your partner dies
    • If your partner was the main claimant, we will end the claim.
    • You will need to make an online claim within one month so we can pay housing benefit and/or council tax support from the date your partner died
    • If you take longer than a month to make your claim, you will need to write to us using the backdating your benefit form and ask us to consider your benefit to the date your partner died.
    • In either case, you will need to provide the original death certificate.

  • If you rent from a private landlord or a registered social landlord (housing association), tell us if
    • your rent goes up or down.
    • there is a change in the service charges you pay.
    • the property you live in changes.

You don’t need to tell us if you rent from the council.

  • If you move house, or are about to, you should tell us as soon as possible. This will prevent us from paying benefit to a previous landlord and make sure you get the right amount of benefit.
  • If you’re liable to council tax, you must also tell us immediately to ensure we don’t overcharge you.

What happens if I don’t move into my new home at the tenancy start date?

If you become liable for rent on a new home and you delay moving in because

  • You have applied for and are awaiting an local welfare provision payment for items connected with the move AND you either have
    • A child aged under 6 in the household or
    • Someone in the household who is either a pensioner entitled to a pensioner premium or is disabled and entitled to a disability premium

Then provided you are not already liable for rent elsewhere and the delay is reasonable, you may be eligible for Housing Benefit for up to 4 weeks before you actually move in.

  • The home needs to be adapted for someone with a disability; you may be eligible for Housing Benefit for up to 4 weeks before you move in, provided the delay is reasonable.

If you have a rental liability elsewhere and you delay moving into your new home, we will not be able to pay Housing Benefit on your new home before you move in. If you have to give notice on your old home, we may be able to pay Housing Benefit on your previous home, as long as you have moved into your new home.

What happens if I need to leave my home temporarily?

If you are going to be away from your home temporarily, you must tell us, write to:

Birmingham City Council
Resources Directorate (Revenues and Benefits)
PO Box 5
Birmingham B4 7AB

To get housing benefit when you are away from home temporarily, you must

  • Intend to return
  • Not have let or sub-let your home

and you mustn’t be away for more than 13 or 52 weeks, depending on the reason you are away.

  • We can pay housing benefit for up to 13 weeks if you are:
    • Going into a residential home or nursing care home on a trial basis, providing you intend to return home if the trial is unsuccessful.
    • Away from home for any other reason, such as a holiday or visiting family abroad, providing you intend to return to your home at the end of the holiday or visit, etc.

  • We can pay Housing Benefit for up to 52 weeks if you are:
    • Being held in custody pending trial or sentence ('on remand')
    • Living in an approved bail hostel or an address away from your normal home as a condition of bail
    • In hospital
    • In a care home or independent hospital, for example, during respite care
    • Receiving medically approved* care away from home
    • Away from your home because your partner or child is undergoing medical treatment or medically approved* convalescence
    • Away from home providing medically approved* care for someone else
    • Undertaking a Government approved training course

*medically approved means that that a medical professional (nurse, doctor) has approved the treatment/convalescence.

Please read the prisoner leaflet if you or a member of your household goes into/comes out of prison.

attached document Advice for prisoners and ex-offenders on Housing and Council Tax Support