Housing Benefit change of circumstances in 2022: what to do

8 December 2022 by Robin - 9 minutes of reading time

housing benefit change of circumstances

What if I receive Housing Benefit, but have a change of circumstances? How could I report a change of address? Would changes of situation impact my Housing Benefit payments? How could I remedy this? If you receive Housing Benefit, you absolutely need to report any changes in your situation. This encompasses a lot of things, from starting work to not receiving other benefits. Your Benefits will tell you everything you know concerning what to do in this situation.

Housing Benefit change of circumstances: what should I do?

You may have had a change of circumstances. Indeed, this could be a change of address, for example. Then, you need to report it if you receive Housing Benefit. You also need to report changes of circumstances for anyone living with you.

Reporting changes of circumstances is extremely important to keep getting Housing Benefit. Indeed, if you do not report changes straight away, the amount of Housing Benefit that you receive could be reduced or stopped.

A number of things can be considered a change of circumstances. Additionally, it is not limited to just yourself. In fact, they might concern the people you live with, like your child.

You may need your national insurance number or pension credit. In fact, if you get income support for 13 weeks, are from great Britain, you could be eligible for housing benefit or council tax. This is true if you have a tenancy agreement, your children leave school, or you get tax credits.

What is considered a change of circumstances for Housing Benefit?

Housing Benefit change of circumstances: what should I do?

There are a myriad things that can be considered a change of circumstance. If you receive Housing Benefit and one of the following happens, you must report it as soon as possible:

  • A child you are responsible for turns 18 years old;
  • You are not a British citizen and experience a change in your immigration status;
  • Someone living in your household or your partner passes away;
  • You have or give birth to a baby;
  • You have a change in who lives in your household (if people go out of or in it, like a family member or roommate);
  • Your living accommodation changes, and you go live in shared accommodation, a care home or a hospital;
  • Starting or stopping education, an apprenticeship, training or work;
  • Travelling overseas for any amount of time;
  • The amount of rent that you have to pay either going up or down;
  • The amount of money you earn going up or down;
  • Having a change of address;
  • Your property, investments or savings having any kind of change;
  • Your workplace or personal pension changing;
  • You or someone else in your household experiencing any kind of change to the benefits that they receive.

You may not be certain if a change of circumstances needs to be reported for Housing Benefit. In this case, ask your local council. Indeed, they will likely be able to tell you. 

Housing benefit: how can I report a change of circumstances?

Reporting a change of circumstances for Housing Benefit is pretty straightforward. Indeed, you only need to notify your local council. You can find your local council on the Gov.UK website.

You may also receive other benefits and have a change of circumstances. Then, make sure that you report it for both the benefit and Housing Benefit. Indeed, changes of circumstances often affect all benefits. 

That’s it. That’s really all you have to do. Indeed, it’s pretty easy, just like how Your Benefits can help you know what you are eligible for. Indeed, we offer articles on things like Universal Credit and Council Tax Support, to know everything you are entitled to when it comes to housing.

However, on top of articles on the many housing benefits (and more!) you could receive, we offer a free simulator. In fact, it can show you all the benefits you are entitled to. With it, you could find benefits you may be missing out on.

Housing Benefit change of address: how can I report that I moved?

You may have experienced a change of address. This is the case if you moved. However, you could continue to receive Housing Benefit. Indeed, you would need to report the change to your local council.

If you have a change of address, no need to submit a form, simply let your local council know. Then, they will tell you what you can do next. Indeed, it could be the case that you have a different local council because of your move.

However, contact the council that is associated with your old address. Indeed, this is likely the one still paying the benefit. 

What if I stop receiving other benefits?

You may stop receiving certain other benefits. Indeed, this is likely the case if you are starting or stopping work, for example. Additionally, it could also happen if you start getting more money.

There are a number of things that could happen if you stop receiving a benefit. Indeed, you could receive more Housing Benefit. More specifically, you may receive an ‘in-work Housing Benefit‘. Moreover, you could receive 4 more weeks of Housing Benefit, also known as ‘Extended Payment of Housing Benefit’.

You do not need to apply for any of these. Indeed, if you are eligible, you will be contacted by your local council. They will tell you if you are, and you will be notified in writing.

Could I need to pay back payments?

Housing benefit: how can I report a change of circumstances?

You could need to pay back some payments. Indeed, this could be the case if you were overpaid, for example. You could also have given wrong information, or not reported a change of circumstances for Housing Benefit. Then, you could have to pay back that money.

In order to pay back what you were overpaid, you will need to contact the local council paying your benefit. Indeed, ask them how much you need to pay back.

What additional help could I get to cover housing costs?

If you need help covering housing costs, you may be able to claim benefits such as Winter Fuel Payment or Cold Weather Payment. If you have children, you could even get benefits such as Child Winter Heating Assistance.

Indeed, note that Housing Benefit is not meant to cover foodenergyheating and water costs. However, other benefits could do this.

Although Housing Benefit does not cover a number of bills, Your Benefits could. More specifically, we could help you save on a number of bills, like water, energy and water. To use this service, simply ask to be called back, and one of our experts will call you back.

Your Housing Benefit may not be enough to help pay for your rent. Then, you could receive a ‘Discretionary Housing Payment’. Indeed, this could help you in paying for your rent even further. In order to apply, simply contact your local council.

If you need help with heating costs, you could get things like a boiler grant. Indeed, this could help you pay, or even cover 100% of the costs of a new boiler. Furthermore, it’s an amount that you do not need to pay back.

You may also live in supported or sheltered housing but are not eligible for Housing Benefit. Then, you could apply for Universal Credit instead. If you are eligible for Housing Benefit, you could even receive benefits such as Support for Mortgage Interest (SMI).

What is Housing Benefit?

You may receive Housing Benefit. As a refresher, it is a benefit that helps you cover rent. In order to apply for this benefit, you must be claiming benefits, on a low income, or unemployed. Furthermore, you need to either be State Pension age or older, or reside in supported, temporary or sheltered housing.

Your situation may be different to the one above. Then, there could be a chance that you are eligible. Indeed, read the Housing Benefit article to learn more.

Like other benefits, Housing Benefit is impacted by the benefit cap. As such, you cannot receive more money with benefits and Housing Benefit than the benefit cap allows. 

If you are unsure what other benefits you could receive, Your Benefits can help. Indeed, we provide a free simulator that can show you all the financial aid you could be entitled to. Furthermore, it’s completely free!

Furthermore, we offer a number of articles explaining your eligiblility to certain benefits, as well as how to receive them. Many are linked, like the ones above. Do not hestitate to learn about other benefits if you think you could be eligible. You could be missing out on more payments!

How is Housing Benefit calculated?

Housing Benefit is calculated using multiple things. Indeed, first is your eligible rent. That is rent on top of additional service charges (only for certain services). Additionally, the total income in your household is used. Indeed, this includes any benefits, savings and pensions that you receive over the sum of £6,000.

Additionally, to calculate Housing Benefit, the number of spare rooms that you have is used. Finally, your sitaution, as well as the one of the people living with you, is assessed.

Furthermore, having more spare bedrooms can decrease the total amount of Housing Benefit you receive. Indeed, this is because the more spare bedrooms you have, the more your ‘eligible rent will be reduced’. For one spare bedroom, this decrease is 14%For 2 or more, it’s 25%. Below is an example:

'Eligible' rent calculation if you have a spare bedroom
Condition Amount
Eligible rent £130 weekly
Number of spare bedrooms 1
Percentage by which your eligible rent is reduced 14%
Total actual eligible rent 130 * (1-.14) = £111,8 weekly

Note that you may rent privately. Then, your eligible rent could be one of two things. First, it could be your actual rent. Second, it could be your Local Housing Allowance (LHA) rate. The one that it is is whichever amount is lower.

Robin is a writer for Your Benefits, writing about aids that people may be entitled to. He is currently working on his Master in journalism at the Institut Supérieur de Formation au Journalisme in Lille.

Ask our experts a question

Our algorithm calculates which grants you are eligible to apply for.

Simulate your benefits