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Report a benefit change

If you currently receive Housing Benefit or Council Tax Support, you need to tell us straight away about any change that could affect how much benefit you get.

Warning text

You need to have a live claim to be able to report a change. If you do not have a live claim, you'll have to make a new one.

If you delay telling us about a change:

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

Below are examples of changes you would need to tell us about:

  • if your earnings change – like working overtime
  • if anyone moves in or out of your home
  • if your pension increases
  • if your rent increases
  • if your savings increase to above £6,000
  • if you have been, or are about to be, temporarily absent from your home

The list above does not include every change you need to tell us about. If you are unsure, tell us anyway.

You need to have a live claim to be able to report a change. If you do not have a live claim, you'll have to make a new one.

Report a change

You can report a change of income online. If you need to report another type of change, you will need to complete a change of circumstances form (pdf)

If you have moved to a private tenancy you will also need to complete a property information form (pdf)

If you have started work or changed employers you will also need to complete an employer information form (pdf)

Evidence

We will need to see evidence of the change before we can make a decision. The sooner you provide the information the quicker a decision will be made.

The easiest way to provide evidence is by e-mail to hdc.benefits@harlow.gov.uk.

You need to include your:

  • claim reference
  • name
  • address

You can also provide evidence by post, or by visiting the Civic Centre.

What happens next

We will make a decision as quickly as possible once you have provided all the supporting documents.

You can sign up for an online account to be notified as soon as a decision is made.

If you do not have an online account then we will write to you to inform you of the decision that has been made.

When we let you know our decision, we will tell you:

Identity

We will only need to see evidence of identity if someone is moving into your household.

Examples of evidence of identity include:

  • birth certificate
  • passport
  • driving licence
  • marriage certificate
  • National Insurance card
  • medical card
  • Uk Residence permit
  • EEC identity card
  • recent gas or electricity bill

We may need to see a number of these documents for each person

National Insurance number

We will only need to see evidence of National Insurance number if someone is moving into your household.

Examples of evidence of National Insurance number include:

  • National Insurance card
  • payslips
  • letters from the Department of Work and Pensions or the tax office

Capital, savings and investments

Examples of evidence of capital, savings and investments include:

  • all your bank, building society or post office books
  • full bank statements
  • certificates for premium bonds
  • National Savings Certificates
  • TESSAs
  • ISAs
  • stocks and shares
  • bonds
  • unit trusts

We need to see evidence of any interest or dividends you get on investments and savings.

We need to see this evidence for any children in your household as well.

The evidence you send must show details of at least the last 2 months.

Private rent and tenancy

Examples of private rent and tenancy include:

  • rent book
  • rent receipts
  • tenancy agreement
  • letter from your landlord

Earnings

We need to see your last 5 payslips if you are paid every week, the last 3 if you are paid every 2 weeks, or your last 2 if your are paid monthly.

If you or your partner are self-employed we need to see your accounts for the last financial year, or if you have been trading for less than 6 months, a summary of your trading records so far.

If you cannot get wage slips, we might contact your employer to confirm details.

Other income

Examples of evidence of other income include:

  • pension slips from a former employer
  • a letter from the court showing how much maintenance you are getting

We need to see evidence of any money people pay you for board and lodgings.

Benefits, allowances or pensions

Examples of evidence of benefits, allowances or pensions include:

  • current award notices
  • letters from the Department of Work and Pensions or the tax office confirming how much you get

If you do not have evidence, let us know straight away.

Other money paid out

Examples of evidence of money paid out include:

  • letters about student grants or maintenance 
  • agreements or receipts from registered childcarers