What you need to tell us about to keep your housing benefit and council tax reduction claim right

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You must tell us straight away about any change that could affect how much housing benefit or council tax reduction you get.

If you delay telling us about a change:

  • you may lose out on extra benefit 
  • we may pay you too much and youll have to pay it back

If you change address

You must tell us if youre moving out of your current home, even on a temporary basis.

If your circumstances change

Below is a list of common changes you must tell us about.

Changes in income:

  • changes in wages, maintenance, works pensions, tax credits and so on
  • if any sort of income starts, stops or the amount you get goes up or down
  • if you start or stop work

Changes in benefit, including if:

  • you start or stop getting Income Support
  • you start or stop getting Jobseeker's Allowance
  • you start or stop getting Employment and Support Allowance
  • you start or stop getting Universal Credit
  • any other benefit starts or stops or the amount changes
  • a tax credit like Working Tax Credit or Child Tax Credit starts or stops, or if the amount changes
  • someone starts or stops getting Carers Allowance on your behalf (including anyone outside of your household)

People who live with you, including if:

  • anyone comes to stay with you or moves out
  • anyone who lives with you starts or stops work
  • there is any change in the income of someone who lives with you
  • you have a new baby
  • a child leaves school or changes school

Bank accounts, savings or investments:

  • if there is any significant change in your bank accounts, savings, stock or shares 

Private rents and housing association rents:

  • if your landlord puts your rent up or down
  • if the services included in your rent change
  • if the part of the property you live in changes, for example, you may move to a different room in the same property or take on extra rooms

Council tenants do not need to tell us about changes to their rent.

Other changes, including if:

  • you become part of a couple 
  • if you become a student or finish your course
  • if you go into hospital
  • if your landlord changes

Tell us about a change

Evidence we may need

If youre moving house and are a private or housing association tenant you must provide a copy of your new tenancy agreement showing:

  • your name as the tenant
  • the date the tenancy starts
  • the amount of the rent and how often you have to pay this amount
  • details of any charges that are included in the rent, like heating or water

Other evidence you may need to provide

We usually need to see proof of the change youre telling us about. We'll contact you if we need more evidence or information and explain what you need to provide. This can include:

  • notice of rent increase
  • pay slips
  • bank statements

Upload evidence to support your claim

Or you can email scanned documents to benefits.evidence@bristol.gov.uk

You must include your claim reference number or National Insurance number. 

What happens next

We'll contact you as soon as we can after receiving confirmation of your change of circumstance and tell you if we need any other evidence. We'll aim to do this within 14 days.

As soon as we've processed your change of circumstance we'll tell you:

  • if you'll still get benefit and how much 
  • the date your benefit will change 
  • if you've been overpaid
  • what information we've used to work out your benefit
  • what you should do if you think your benefit is wrong