Change in circumstances

Change in circumstances

It is very important that any Council Tax Support and/or Housing Benefit paid to you or your landlord are worked out on your current family and financial circumstances. If things change after your first claim we do not know unless you tell us.

Tell us if your income or savings change, you move house, the number of people in your home changes or your rent changes. We need to know as soon as possible. Please email benefits@west-lindsey.gov.uk

If you do not know if a change in your circumstances will affect your claim please talk to us.

It is the responsibility of the person claiming the Council Tax Support and/or Housing Benefit to tell us of any change in circumstance that could affect their claim.

If a landlord receives the money direct, they are also responsible for telling us of any change in circumstance that they are aware of for example a tenant vacating.

This can prevent too much Council Tax Support and/or Housing Benefit being paid out which you then have to pay back or it could prevent a delay in awarding more benefits.

Money received by other people who are living in your home affects the amount of Council Tax Support and/or Housing Benefit you are entitled to. If their income changes you should tell us straight away. This may be that they have started to receive an additional benefit such as Personal Independence Payments or they have started work or finished work or had a pay increase.
For more information about how other household member’s income who live with you affects your entitlement please go to non-dependents (this does not include the income received by your partner).

The number of people in your home affects how much benefit you are entitled to. If the number of people living with you changes you need to tell us about this change. For example:

  • Someone has a baby
  • A partner comes to live with you
  • A partner leaves

If you or your partner leaves the household, then a new application form should be completed by the person remaining in the home. It will be likely that your income will have changed and details and proof of your new income will be required.

If a non-dependant (an adult living in the property who is not financially dependent on you) or a dependant leaves the household, you need to contact us to let us know what date they left and their forwarding address. This is also the case if a lodger, tenant, sub-tenant or carer leaves.

We may not be able to remove someone from an address without details of their forwarding address and if you are unable to provide a forwarding address we will ask you the reasons for this.

The amount of Council Tax Support and/or Housing Benefit or you are entitled to depends on the money you receive as an income and any savings or capital (shares, Income Bonds, Premium Bonds, Investments) you have.

If your money or your partner’s money increases or decreases we need to know. For example:

  • You start or stop getting Income Support, Job Seekers Allowance, or Pension Credit
  • You start or stop getting Working Tax Credit or Child Tax Credit or the amount you get changes
  • The amount of savings or capital you have changes

Do not rely on the DWP (Department for Work and Pensions) to tell us, it is your responsibility to tell us.

Council Tax Support and/or Housing Benefit is paid when an eligible person has a liability to pay rent and Council Tax, and are living in a property.

If you have moved out of the property we need to know as soon as possible.

If you are temporarily living away from your home for example caring for a sick relative or you are in hospital, please let us know. Benefit can be paid for a limited period if you are temporarily absent provided you intend to return to the property.

If you are moving within the West Lindsey district and you are currently in receipt of benefits and you still wish to claim you need to tell us that you have moved.

Changes to Temporary Absence Rules if you receive Housing Benefit and leave Great Britain

From 28 July 2016 a new general temporary absence rule applies to claimants for periods of temporary absence when they are outside Great Britain. The new rule allows a claimant to be absent for up to 4 weeks as long as they continue to meet the rules for absences from their main dwelling. 

You will not be entitled to Housing Benefit from the start date of your absence if you leave Great Britain for longer than 4 weeks as you will be deemed not to be occupying your property. There are some exceptions to this rule for members of the armed forces, mariners and people who are ill and/or receiving medical treatment which allow for up to 26 weeks absence outside of Great Britain, these are outlined in the table below.

This applies to everyone who claims Housing Benefit so applies to both Working Age and Pensionable Age claimants. 

Great Britain includes England, Scotland and Wales. Northern Ireland, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man are not part of Great Britain for Housing Benefit purposes and therefore, any absences to those areas should be considered under the new absence from Great Britain provisions.

Temporary Absence Table 

Circumstances of absence

Within Great Britain

Outside Great Britain

A person detained on remand pending trial or sentence upon conviction or as a condition of bail to reside in a dwelling other than their home

52 weeks

4 weeks

A person in a hospital or similar institution as a patient

52 weeks

26 weeks

A person, their partner or dependent child undergoing medical treatment, medically approved convalescence in accommodation other than residential accommodation

52 weeks

26 weeks

A training course

52 weeks

4 weeks

A person who is absent and undertaking medically approved care of a person residing in GB or elsewhere

52 weeks

4 weeks

A person who is caring for child whose parent or guardian is temporarily absent from the home of that parent or guardian and receiving medically approved care or medical treatment

52 weeks

4 weeks

A person who is receiving medically approved care provided in accommodation other than residential accommodation

52 weeks

26 weeks

An eligible student

52 weeks

4 weeks

A person who is receiving care in residential accommodation and is not staying on a trial basis to ascertain if the accommodation suits his needs

52 weeks

4 weeks

A person who has left their home through fear of violence

52 weeks

26 weeks

A person who enters residential accommodation on a trial basis to ascertain if it meets their needs with the intention of returning home

52 weeks

4 weeks

A person who is absent from GB in connection with the death of their partner or a child for whom he or his partner is responsible, the persons close relative, a close relative of the persons partner or a close relative of a child or young person for whom the person or persons partner is responsible

13 weeks

4 weeks plus additional 4 weeks if it is unreasonable for the claimant to return home within the first 4 weeks

A member of Her Majesty’s forces posted overseas

13 weeks

26 weeks

A mariner

13 weeks

26 weeks

Continental shelf worker

13 weeks

26 weeks

Any other temporary absence e.g. holiday

13 weeks

4 weeks

Benefits
West Lindsey District Council
Guildhall
Marshall's Yard
Gainsborough
Lincolnshire
DN21 2NA

Email: benefits@west-lindsey.gcsx.gov.uk