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Chiltern District Council
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Benefits - changes of circumstance

If you receive housing benefit / council tax support and you have a change in your circumstances, you need to let us know straight away. If you don't you may not receive all that you are entitled to, or you might receive too much which you will need to pay back. To report a change of circumstances you can use this online form.

Changes you need to tell us about

The following are examples of the types of changes you should tell us about:

If someone living with you stops or starts work or has any other changes in income

If any of your children leave school, start work, or have any other changes in their income

If anyone comes to live with you or if anyone leaves - including lodgers and tenants

If you marry, separate or divorce

If you have a new baby

If you are paying child care costs or any changes to child care costs.

If you stop or start caring for a disabled person

If you have a student child who normally studies away from home and they return home during the vacation period

If you or your partner go into hospital, tell us the date and also tell us when you get home

Temporary absence rules are changing
Tell us if you, your partner or both of you leave the country for more than 4 weeks. Tell us before you go and as soon as you get back.

Tell is if you receive a decision from the Home Office regarding your immigration status.

In Housing Benefit and Pension Age Council Tax Support the period you can be away from home before your Housing Benefit or Council Tax Support entitlement given to pensioners, is terminated is changing:

Absence from Home - Any Reason

In Great Britain = 13 weeks
Outside Great Britain = 4 weeks (+ 4 weeks see below)

The 4 weeks may be extended for a further 4 weeks if we consider it unreasonable to expect you to return within 4 weeks because your absence is in connection with the death of a partner, child or young person for whom you or your partner are responsible, you or your partner's close relative, or a close relative of a child or young person for whom you or your partner are responsible.

If you are absent from Great Britain as a member of the armed forces away on operations, a mariner or an oil or gas worker on the continental shelf the time limit is 26 weeks.

During your absence the 3 qualifying conditions must be fulfilled:

1) You intend to return to the property; and

2) The dwelling has not been let/sublet; and

3) The period of absence is unlikely to exceed the time limit

All 3 conditions must be satisfied. There is no discretion, so if it is clear at the outset that absence is likely to exceed the time limit then benefit is not payable.

Trialling Residential Accommodation

Residential accommodation is in Great Britain. = 13 Weeks

Resident in a hospital or similar institution as a patient

If in Great Britain = 52 weeks                             Outside Great Britain = 26 weeks

Claimant, partner or dependant child undergoing medical treatment or medically approved convalescence, in accommodation other than residential accommodation

If in Great Britain = 52 weeks                             Outside Great Britain = 26 weeks

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

 In Great Britain = 52 weeks                              Outside Great Britain = 26 weeks

Undertaking medically approved care of a person

In Great Britain = 52 weeks                               Outside Great Britain = 4 weeks

Undertaking the care of a child whose parent or guardian is temporarily absent from the dwelling normally occupied by that parent or guardian for the purpose of receiving medically approved care or medical treatment

In Great Britain = 52 weeks                               Outside Great Britain = 4 weeks

A person who is receiving care provided in residential accommodation (other than trial periods)

In Great Britain = 52 weeks                               Outside Great Britain = 4 weeks

Following a training course provided wholly or partly by or on behalf of a government department or the Secretary of State

In Great Britain = 52 weeks                               Outside Great Britain = 4 weeks

A Student, single or lone parent student liable to make payments in respect of either (but not both) their term time or the dwelling they occupy when not   attending their course will be treated as occupying as their home the dwelling in respect of which they are liable to make payments or Payment on two homes for a couple where one partner is a student and it is unavoidable that the partners should occupy two       separate dwellings)

In Great Britain = 52 weeks                               Outside Great Britain = 4 weeks

A person who has left the dwelling they occupy as their home through fear of violence, in the dwelling, or by a person who was formerly a member of the family of the person, and to whom payment on two homes does not apply

In Great Britain = 52 weeks                                   Outside Great Britain = 4 weeks

Income/Savings - Pensions and Benefits
If you or your partner starts or stop getting child benefit, child tax credit, working tax credit, pension credit, jobseekers allowance or any other benefit or pension

If you or your partner stop or start work, even if you get less money

If you or your partner's wages go up or down

If your hours increase or decrease

If you or your partner's savings change

You receive any additional monies or payment (e.g. maintenance or charitable payments)

Any changes in payments received from sub-tenants, lodgers or boarders.

If the rent you are charged by your landlord changes

If you move and change address.

You should tell us immediately of the change happening, if you don't you could lose benefit. If you don't tell us on time we may go on paying the same rate of benefit as before and this may be wrong.

We may need to change the amount we pay you, or stop your benefit completely because of a change. We will expect you to pay back any benefits that you are overpaid.

If you take too long to tell us of a change that would give you more benefit, we can only increase your benefit from the Monday after the date you told us.

If there are good reasons that explain your delay we may be able to pay the extra money from an earlier date, but we cannot guarantee that.

If you don't report a change that you know affects your benefit, and don't have a good reason for this, you are committing a criminal offence, just as if you gave us false information or concealed the truth.

How do I tell you about my changes?

It is easy to let us know. You can email us at or call us on (01494)732077, or complete the form by clicking on the link below.

Don't be stung by an overpayment. Tell us about your changes.