Changes that could affect your benefits

You must tell us about all changes in circumstances immediately. It is a criminal offence not to report a change.

Changes that could affect your benefits - poster Displays a larger version of this image in a new browser windowYou have one month to tell us from the date of the change in your circumstances. If you delay in telling us, you may lose out on benefit.

You can tell us about a change in circumstances by filling in our online form. You can also call into the council offices to report a change, or tell us by phone.

Changes to the  National Living Wage from April 2016

If you are over the age of 25 and were earning less than £7.20 per hour, your wages are likely to have increased from 1 April. This is when the  government introduced the National Living Wage. The National Living Wage replaces the minimum wage for people over the age of 25 and is set at £7.20 per hour.

If your wages increase, you need to let us know straight away as it is likely to affect your housing benefit and/or council tax support.

Change of address

If you move to another address in Aldershot or Farnborough and were receiving housing benefit at your old address, and you have had no other changes, you need to fill in a pdf icon Change of address form [243kb] and send it back to us with your new tenancy agreement/proof of rent using the contact details on this page.

Other changes of circumstances

Every time we receive information from you, we will write back to confirm how this affects your benefit.

If you do not receive this confirmation, you must assume that we have not heard from you.

If this is the case, you must contact us again. It could be considered as fraud if you knowingly continue to receive benefit when your entitlement may have changed.

We will assess your claim using the information you have given to us.

Examples of changes you must report

  • You stop receiving income support, job seeker's allowance, employment support allowance or any other state benefit
  • You start to receive Universal Credit
  • Your working tax credit or child tax credit changes
  • You move (even if you only move to a different room or flat in the same property)
  • A child leaves school or leaves home
  • You have a baby
  • Your child starts to be cared for, or stops being cared for, by a registered child minder, or nursery or playgroup
  • Someone moves into or out of your home (including boarders and sub-tenants)
  • Your income, or the income of anyone living with you, goes up or down
  • You, or anyone living with you, becomes a student, or takes up a government training scheme
  • You, or anyone living with you, goes into hospital or a nursing home, or goes into prison (even if this is on remand)
  • You, or anyone living with you, gets a job, or changes their job, or becomes unemployed
  • You, or anyone living with you, takes a second job
  • You return to work after a period of illness when you have been receiving benefit
  • You, or anyone living with you, has a change in capital or savings of £150 or more (this does not apply to people receiving income support, job seekers allowance (income based) or pension credit (guarantee credit) - you should notify the Department of Works and Pensions
  • Your rent changes
  • You, and/or your partner, will be away from the UK for 4 weeks or more. Where possible, tell us about this before you go
  • You receive a decision from the Home Office
  • Someone starts to receive carer's allowance for looking after you
  • You change the bank account that we are paying your housing benefit into
  • Anything at all which is different from what you have told us on your claim form

Most changes need to be put in writing - we can accept some over the telephone. Do not rely on anyone else to give us the information, or pass a message on, not even the Job Centre, Pensions Service or Revenues and Customs.

If you don't tell us about the changes, you may lose money you are entitled to, or we may pay you too much benefit which we can ask you to repay.

If you're not sure if you need to tell us about a change, contact us with the details.

Temporary absence

You must tell us and the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) if you have to leave your home for a period of time, but intend to return to the property.

From 28 July 2016, if you are planning to be out of the country for more than four weeks, we will not normally be able to pay you housing benefit.

By informing us of your circumstances before you go, we may be able to pay your benefit while you're away.

In certain cases, you may be able to continue receiving housing benefit for up to eight, 26 or 52 weeks. Please contact us to find out if we can pay your benefit while you are away.

You may need an appointee - someone to handle your benefit affairs while you are away. We can advise you how to do this.

Help returning to work

If you return to work after being on benefit, some of your benefit will stop automatically and some will carry on for a short while to tide you over.  If you are on a low income, you may still qualify for some help.

For four weeks after you return to work, you may be able to get:

  • An extended housing benefit payment
  • An extended council tax support  payment

You may also be able to get this payment is you are working more hours or earning more money.  To be eligible, you must:

  • Have been getting jobseeker's allowance or income support for at least 26 weeks
  • Have been getting incapacity benefit or severe disablement allowance for at least 26 weeks
  • Expect the work or your increased hours or earnings to last for five weeks or more

Child care costs

If you pay for child care,  part of this cost can be deducted from the income figure used to calculate your housing benefit and council tax support.

This can be up to £175 (for one child) or £300 (for two or more children) a week for the following categories:

  • Lone parents who work at least 16 hours a week.
  • Couples who both work at least 16 hours a week.
  • Couples if one of them works at least 16 hours a week and the other one is incapacitated, or in hospital, or in prison (whether serving a sentence or on remand)

To qualify, the child, or children, will need to be with:

  • A registered childminder, nursery or play scheme
  • A childminding scheme, for which registration is not needed (e.g. run by a school, local authority)
  • Child care approved for working tax credit purposes
  • Any out-of-school-hours' scheme provided by a school on school premises or by local authority - in this case only, the child must be aged eight or more

You will not qualify if the child is  aged 15 or more. If the child is disabled the age would be 16 years.

Please use our pdf icon Childcare costs form [2Mb] to apply for this additional help.

 
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