Change in circumstances? Tell Housing Benefit and us!

If you are already getting Housing Benefit and your circumstances change please tell us.

Changes include:

» Changes to your income (wages, benefits, tax credits, pension or any other income)

» Changes in the amount of savings that you have
» Changes to your household if anyone leaves or joins your household
» Changes to the income of other people in your household
» If you move or have to live away from home for any reason, become a student, go into hospital or prison.

This is not a complete list. If you are unsure please contact your local Housing Benefit office. They will be able to tell you if your change will affect your Housing Benefit.

You must also inform your us so we can update your rent account. You can contact us on 020 8996 4200.

Any delay in telling the Housing and Council Tax Benefit Division about changes in circumstances may result in you being paid too much Housing Benefit. If the council pays you too much, you must pay this back.

Housing Benefit, who can get it?

Housing Benefit was previously paid to people on a low income in rented accommodation to help cover housing costs. However, most people who are entitled to help with their rent now have to claim Universal Credit with the Housing Costs element. The rules are broadly similar to the rules that used to apply to Housing Benefit, such as:

You should be able to claim Universal Credit to help you pay your rent if you would otherwise have been entitled to another work replacement benefit (for example Job Seekers Allowance, Employment Support Allowance or Income Support), or if you work but your income is low.

How much help you are entitled to depends on: your income and savings, who lives with you, the ages of everyone in the property, and the amount of rent you have to pay.

 

Who isn't eligible? You can't usually get Universal Credit Housing Costs if:

» You have savings of over £16,000

» You live in the home of a close relative

» You're a full-time student (unless you're disabled or have children, but specific rules apply); or

» your immigration status precludes you from claiming income based benefits

Universal Credit also cannot pay for some service charges, such as heating or water rates

You’ll still need to claim Council Tax Support from your local authority. These rules are similar to those for Universal Credit. Additionally, your entitlement to any Council Tax Support will change if the income of any member of your household changes, so be sure to let them know if anyone in your home starts work, or their earnings change.

 

Additionally, some people can still get Housing Benefit. These include:

» Pensioners

» People who are entitled to a severe disability premium with their income based benefit.

If you fall into any of the exceptional categories, or are not sure, then please ask to be referred to the Advice time who will be happy to arrange an appointment.

 

Change in circumstances? Tell the department for Work and Pensions (DWP)  and us!

If your circumstances change the DWP and your local authority need to know as soon as possible. These changes could include:-

» Changes to your income (wages, benefits, tax credits, pension or any other income)

» Changes in the amount of savings that you have

» Changes to your household if anyone leaves or joins your household

» Changes to the income of other people in your household

» If you move or have to live away from home for any reason, become a student, go into hospital or prison.

This is not a complete list. If you are unsure please notify the DWP though your online journal and contact your local authority. They will be able to tell you if your change will affect your Universal Credit and Council Tax Support.

You must also inform your us so we can update your rent account. You can contact us on 020 8996 4200.

Any delay in telling the DWP and Council Tax Benefit Division about changes in circumstances may result in you being paid too much Benefit, or not enough. If the council pays you too much, you must pay this back. If you are underpaid, you may not get this back

Problems with Housing Benefit

If your Housing Benefit is cancelled or suspended, payments will stop and your rent account will go into arrears. You are responsible for contacting the Housing Benefit office to resolve the problem. You must still pay your rent while this happens.

Annual rent increase

When we apply your annual rent increase you need to inform the local authority paying your housing benefit so they can adjust your Housing Benefit entitlement accordingly. If you dont do this, you may find HB does not cover your full rent.