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Reporting changes

Housing Benefit and Council Tax Support

You must tell us (Merton Benefits Service) about any change in circumstances that may affect your entitlement to Housing Benefit (HB) or Council Tax Support (CTS). This applies to both claimants and landlords. You should not rely on other people, organisations or services to let us know of any changes you know about.

If you claim any state benefits you also need to tell Jobcentre Plus or the Pension Service. If you are under 60 contact Jobcentre Plus. If you are 60 or over contact the Pension Service.

On this page

Who must tell us

Claimant - A claimant is always responsible for notifying a change in circumstances, unless they are unable to (for example they have died).

Claimant's partner - The claimant's partner is also responsible for reporting changes. People appointed to act on behalf of a claimant are also required to report changes.

Landlords - Landlords should also report changes that they could know about, for example if a claimant has moved out or started work.

When to tell us

You must tell us as soon as the change happens. There are three reasons for this:

  1. Changes that make you better off must be reported to us within one calendar month of the date they happened. Otherwise, your HB or CTS will only increase from the Monday following the date you tell us about the change.
  2. If you report a change that reduces your benefit, overpayments of HB and CTS can be kept to a minimum. Otherwise, the total amounts we can recover will increase the longer you delay telling us.
  3. If our enquiries show that you deliberately failed to report a change you could be liable to prosecution.

Reporting changes of circumstance straight away is a very important duty once your claim has been awarded.

What changes must be reported

There are specific changes that we must be told about promptly. These are changes:

  • in income
  • that result in your Income Support, Job Seekers Allowance or Employment and Support Allowance stopping
  • in savings, investments and other capital of £250 or more (£500 for pensioners)
  • in rent, but not for council tenants
  • in address
  • in jobs
  • that result in anyone moving out temporarily
  • that result in anyone moving into or out of their home
  • that result in child benefit ceasing for a dependant

How to report a change in circumstances

There are 2 key stages to telling us about a change Step 1 is to tell about the change quickly. Step 2 is to notify us in writing. Click on the type of change that has happened on the list below to find out what you should do:

  • Changing address in Merton,  
  • Change in your or your partner's income - including starting work, increase or decrease in your wages, DWP benefits have stopped or moved to a different benefit, increase or decrease in savings or bank balances of more than £250.
  • Any other changes - including moving out of Merton, changes to income or savings of any other people who live with you, people moving in with you or out of your home.

See also

Related websites

Contact us

Contact Merton Benefits Service

This page was last updated on Wednesday 27 April 2016

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