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Advice, Benefits and Council Tax

Changes in your circumstances

If something changes which could affect your Housing Benefit Claim, you need to inform the Revenues and Benefits Service straight away.

What types of changes do I need to report?

I’ve had a change – what do you need to know?

How do I report a change?

What can happen if I don’t report a change?

How do I give you documents showing these changes?

What types of changes do I need to report?

Changes about people living in your home

  • Anyone starts or stops living with you. This includes:
    • your partner
    • any children
    • friends
    • relatives
    • tenants or lodgers
  • If someone stops living with you temporarily, for example they go abroad or go into hospital or prison

You change address even on a temporary basis

  • You will need to fill in a new claim form if you move to a different property in the Bradford area.
  • If you move to a property outside Bradford, you need to tell us as soon as possible and confirm this in writing.
  • You need to tell us if you temporarily leave your home; we may need further details from you and your landlord.

You or anyone living with you starts work or has a change in their earnings

  • Someone starts a new job, changes jobs or becomes self employed.
  • Someone returns to work after sickness, maternity or after a period of not working.
  • Due to the National Minimum wage changes in October, an annual pay increase, a change in hours of work or for any other reason.
  • A change to the amount of money earned by self employment.
  • The amount of Tax or National Insurance you pay changes.

You or anyone living with you has a change to their benefits or income

  • A change to your Child Tax Credits due to the number of children in your home.
  • Child Tax Credits change because you start or stop paying for child care or your childcare costs change.
  • Working Tax Credits increase or decrease – please tell us why they have changed.
  • The benefit someone is getting changes,
  • You or anyone living with you has a change to their private pension or their pension payments change (not needed if you get Pension Credits).
  • The amount of any other money you get changes.

Changes about children or students

  • You or someone living with you stop getting Child Benefit for any children.
  • You start or stop paying for child care, or these costs change.
  • Someone living in your home starts or stops being a student.

Your savings increase

  • If you are a pensioner, and not getting Pension Credits Guaranteed Credit, and your savings/capital increases and reaches £10,000; or, if it is already above this figure, any change of £500 or more.
  • If you are not of pension age, if your savings/capital increases to £6,000 or, if it is already above this figure, any change of £250 or more.

Other changes

  • The amount of rent you are charged changes due to either rent or service charges changing, for example heating, water rates, care (not needed if you are an Incommunities tenant).
  • There is a change to your tenancy, this could be becoming or stopping being a joint tenant, your landlord moves in or out, you stop or start to pay for the whole property or you start having services included in your rent ( for example heating, water rates, care etc).

If you are not sure if you need to tell us about a change, email benefits@bradford.gov.uk, call our contact centre on 01274 432772 or ask for help from one of the advice agencies listed on www.Bradfordcan.org.uk

I’ve had a change – what do you need to know?

Changes in your household

  • If an adult moves in, we need their name, date of birth, previous address, the date they moved in, their relationship to you and proof of their income.
  • If a child moves in, we need their name, date of birth, previous address, the date they moved in, their relationship to you and who receives child benefit for them in writing.
  • If you have a baby, please let us know the date of their birth, provide their birth Certificate and proof you receive Child benefit and/or Child Tax Credits for them.
  • If someone moves out we need their forwarding address and the date they moved out in writing.

Changes of address or temporary absence

  • If you move home and go to another address in the Bradford Council area, you will need to fill in a new form. This can be either an online form, make an appointment at a council office or contact Incommunities (if they are your landlord) to tell us of this change.
  • If you are moving out of the Bradford Council area or no longer wish to claim Housing benefit, please let us know straight away and confirm this in writing so your claim can be correctly changed
  • If you are temporarily leaving your home, please provide us the details before you leave so your claim can be updated. This includes the dates that you expect to be away, your income during this period and that your landlord will not let the property out while you are away.

Changes in earnings

  • If someone in your household starts work or has a change in their earnings we need the date of this change. We also need consecutive payslips – this can be two monthly, two 4-weekly, three 2-weekly or five weekly payslips, or you can provide a Certificate of Earnings that has been fully completed by your employer.
  • If you become self employed or your earnings change we need your latest set of accounts or we can send you a self employed form to fill in which will give us the details we need to assess your earnings.

Changes to Benefits or other income

  • For changes in benefit we need a copy of the letter you were sent. Do not assume the DWP will tell us of these changes.
  • If your Child Tax Credits or Working Tax Credits change you need to provide the letter you were sent and give details of why the change has happened for example a new child lives with you, changes to child care payments or your wages have increased or decreased.
  • If a private pension has changed we need the letter sent by the pension company showing the new amount and details of any Tax or National Insurance you pay (not required if you get Pension Credits).
  • If there are changes to any other income you have, please provide written details of this change.

Changes about children and students

  • If you or someone living with you stops getting Child Benefit for a child, please tell us the date this happened and why it stopped.
  • If you become a student, we need details of your course, proof of your student grant and any bursaries you receive.
  • If someone living with you becomes a student, we require proof of them being a full time student from the place where they study, this can only be provided once the course has started.
  • If you start or stop paying for child care, or the payments change, we need a letter from your childcare provider giving the date of change and how much you are charged per week, both when your child does and does not attend. HMRC will NOT tell us of these changes.

Changes to your capital

  • If your capital/savings increases we need to see your Bank/Building Society/ Credit Union books or statements (not needed if you get Pension Credits, Guaranteed Credits).
  • If you have Stock’s or shares, please provide the certificates or summary sheets.
  • If you own any property other than the one you live in, please provide details of this, an estimate of its value and details of any mortgage on it.

Other changes in your circumstances

  • If your rent changes, we need a new tenancy agreement or letter from your landlord telling us of the change (not needed if you are an Incommunities tenant) Please do not assume your landlord will inform this department.

How do I report a change?

  • ask for a form, or send us a letter with details about the change as well as your name, address, claim number (if known) and contact telephone number.
  • sign the form or letter and include any evidence.
  • post the form or letter to: Freepost Bradford Council

Remember: we always need to see the original documents when we ask for proof. Copies will not be accepted. The Council will not accept responsibility for the loss of any documents posted to the Revenues and Benefits Service. If you need to send valuable documents, you should arrange an appointment to bring them to one of our offices.

What can happen if I don’t report a change?

  • If the change would mean the amount of Housing Benefit would go up and you do not tell us within a month of the change, then we may not be able to amend your claim from the date it occurred. This means you may lose benefit you would have been entitled to.
  • If the change would reduce your entitlement to Housing Benefit we will take it back to the date the change occurred.
  • If you delay in telling us then this could cause an overpayment. You will then need to pay this back from your future Housing Benefit payments; Housing Benefit can be reduced by as much as £31 per week.
  • If you do not get benefit anymore we will send you an invoice and we can immediately arrange for your wages to be reduced by up to 40% of your take-home pay; your employer can also make a charge in addition to this amount.
  • We can ask the DWP to recover any overpayment from other benefits you get.
  • If you do not tell us, we could prosecute you for Benefit Fraud which could lead to a court case, and a criminal conviction.
  • If the change affects your Council Tax Reduction and you fail to tell us about it, an immediate fine of up to £70 can be imposed; this can increase to £260 if you continue to fail to give us this information.

How do I give you documents showing these changes?

  • You can post proof to us at: Freepost Bradford Council
  • Make an appointment to take your information to be scanned at one of our contact centres in Bradford, Shipley, Keighley or Ilkley. To make an appointment, call us on 01274 432772 or email us at benefits@bradford.gov.uk,

The Council will not accept responsibility for the loss of any documents posted to the Revenues and Benefits Service. If you need to send valuable documents, you should arrange an appointment to bring them to one of our offices.

Do I need to send original documents to you?

  • Yes, however some people no longer get paper wage slips or bank statements. If this is the case we can accept prints of these or the PDF document sent to us (via email). We may need to confirm the details on this document by requesting a statement from the employer or bank or via a phone call.
  • Remember – even if you do not have the written proof yet, you must tell us about the change to avoid possible overpayments or prosecutions.

I have already told the Job Centre / DWP / HMRC about my change, do I still need to tell you?

  • Yes! Although they may tell us a change has happened, they will not provide us with all the details of your income and what else has changed. You still need to tell Bradford Council about any changes that happen.

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