If you receive benefits you must tell us about any changes in your circumstances. You have a legal responsibility to do this within one calendar month of the change or you could be prosecuted for benefit fraud.
You must tell us of any change either before it happens or within one calendar month of the change. You must complete a change of circumstances form or tell us in writing. We'll also need to see evidence of the change.
If you don't tell us about the changes:
- you could lose money you are entitled to
- we could pay you too much and you may have to pay it back
- you could be prosecuted for benefit fraud if you knowingly continue to receive benefit you are not entitled to.
If you receive Income Support, Jobseeker's Allowance, Employment Support Allowance or Pension Credit you must report all changes to the Department for Work and Pensions. They should inform us. However, if we do not contact you within two weeks then you should contact us to make sure we have details of the changes. This will prevent overpayments which you may need to pay back.
Change of address
You must complete a change of address form to tell us straightaway if you are moving, even if this is only to a different room or flat within the same property. We'll need to see evidence of your new tenancy agreement and income. If you are moving out of Runnymede you need to claim with your new local authority.
If you are going to be away from home temporarily we may be able to continue your Housing Benefit or Council Tax Support - see Temporary absence from home for full details.
Your partner moves in
You must complete a change of circumstances form and provide evidence of your joint income and your partner's name, date of birth, national insurance number and any savings or investments he/she has.
If either of you receive Income Support, Jobseeker's Allowance or Pension Credit, you also need to inform the Department for Work and Pensions of this change.
Your partner moves out
If your partner moves out, you will need to tell us the date they left and provide a forwarding address. If you are jointly receiving Income Support, Jobseeker's Allowance or Pension Credit, you also need to inform the Department for Work and Pensions.
Changes in income
You must tell us about any changes to your income and send in proof. This includes changes to your partner's income and other people who are living with you.
You must tell us if:
- you or your partner start to receive any other benefits, including Working Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit
- there are changes to you or your partner's benefits, including Working Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit
- you or anyone living with you gets a job, a second job, changes their job or becomes unemployed
- the income of anyone living with you changes
- you or your partner stop receiving Income Support, Employment Support Allowance, Pension Credit or Jobseeker's Allowance and we have not contacted you within two weeks of the benefit stopping.
If you are about to start work we may be able to extend your payments to cover your first four weeks of work. Jobcentre Plus will usually inform us that you are due to start work and we will decide if your payment can be extended.
After the first four weeks of work you should use the in-work claim form if you think you are still eligible to receive Housing Benefit or Council Tax Support.
You must also tell us if:
- you or anyone living with you becomes a student or starts a government training scheme
- your rent changes (unless you are a council tenant)
- your or your partner's capital or savings increase by more than £250 at one time
- you or your partner inherit money or property
- you have a baby
- your child leaves school or home
- a registered child minder starts caring for your child
- your child starts or stops going to nursery or play group
- you no longer pay for childcare
- someone moves in or out of your home including boarders and sub-tenants
- you or anyone living with you goes to hospital or prison, even if this is on remand.
In most cases, you will be asked to provide evidence. If you are unsure whether a change will affect your entitlement to benefit, contact us as soon as possible.