If your income has been affected by coronavirus you should report any changes to the housing benefit department as soon as you can. Use our sample letter to help you.
Your benefit will usually increase if you report an income drop promptly.
A change in your circumstances may affect the amount of benefit you receive.
If you don’t report something, you could end up being paid too much benefit and having to pay it back at a later date. You could also miss out on Housing Benefit money you’re eligible to receive.
In some situations, you could be fined or prosecuted if you don’t report changes that affect your Housing Benefit claim.
If your change of circumstances does affect the amount of benefit you receive, this may be effective either immediately or on the Monday after the change took place.
Changes that you must tell the Housing Benefit department about include:
If you (or someone living with you):
If you or someone living with you:
Use our sample letter to tell the Housing Benefit department of your change of circumstances. If you can, take the letter in personally and ask for a receipt. Keep this in a safe place. If this is not possible, take a copy of the letter and a record of the date that you sent it. This will help avoid problems if the letter gets lost.
If you receive a letter telling you that you have been paid too much benefit, get advice. An adviser will be able to check if the Housing Benefit department have made a mistake, or help you challenge the decision if the reason you were paid too much benefit was not your fault.
The council may tell you that you have been overpaid benefit if they did not know what your income was for a period. If this is the case you should provide the council with proof of your income for that period and ask them to reassess your entitlement to benefit. Any amount that you should have been entitled to will then be taken off the amount of overpaid benefit that you owe.