Housing benefit and Council Tax Benefit - change of circumstances
Everyone who has been awarded housing benefit and/or council tax reduction has a duty to tell West Lothian Council's benefit team about any changes to their circumstances, or changes to the circumstances of anyone else who lives with them if it could affect the amount of benefit awarded.
Examples of changes that you must tell us about are given on pages 9 and 10 of the booklet you receive at the beginning of each year with your benefit award letter. Some of the main changes you must tell us about are listed below. If you are not sure whether or not to report a change, tell us anyway and we'll put your mind at rest.
Some changes could mean you will get more benefit, for example if your income goes down. It is very important that you tell us right away about these changes. Any delay of longer than a month will mean that you could lose out.
Other changes may mean that you get less benefit. But it is always in your interests to tell us of any changes right away - so we will not have to claim money back from you later.
How to report a change or contacting us
- You can use our online change in circumstances form (new window)
- You can contact the Benefits Team by using the links on the right
- You can print off a change in circumstances form (new window) or you can pick one up from your local office (new window)
- Or you can write to us at the following address
The Benefits Team
St David House
South Bridge Street
We need to see proof of any changes, especially if it means you are going to get more benefit. We need to see evidence of the changes, such as a change in your income or savings, and all evidence of the change must be the original document.
Our staff in your local office can take photocopies of any of your documents free of charge and give you back the originals right away. If you don?t want to use your local office, you must send the original document to us at the address above.
Here are some of the main changes that you must tell us about
Changes in your household such as
- Someone leaves your home
- Someone moves into your home
- Family members stop living with you
- Your family increases
- A child leaves school, or college
- Someone in the house starts work, or stops work
- Someone in the house stops or starts to get Jobseekers Allowance, Employment and Support Allowance or Income Support
- You stop, or start, caring for a disabled person
- You or your partner go into hospital
Changes in income and savings such as
- The amount you earn goes up or down
- The amount of overtime changes
- The amount of Tax Credit you get goes up or down
- The amount or type of benefit you get changes
- You start getting a private pension
- The amount of your savings goes up or down
- Any other income that you have changes
You also need to tell us about any changes in the income of your partner, and any other who live in your household
Changes in where you live such as
- Your rent goes up or down - (if you are a tenant of a private landlord)
- Your tenancy agreement changes
- You move address
- You have a student child who normally studies away from home and they return home during the holiday period
- You or your partner leave the country
- You are likely to be away from your house for more than 13 weeks which includes:
- if you are taken into custody or held on remand
- if you are away on an extended trip
- if circumstances mean you had to leave your home for a while
Tell us what the change is and when it happened. We will then make sure you get the right benefit.
This list tells you about some of the main changes that you need to tell us about, but it doesn't include everything.
If you have a change of circumstances and are unsure about whether you need to tell us - Tell us anyway and we will be able to put your mind at rest.
Remember to tell us about any changes, even if you have already told someone else such as the Jobcentre or another Council department.