Why you have to tell us

We may pay you too much benefit or give you too much help with your council tax

If you don't tell us about changes we are likely to go on paying the same rate of Housing Benefit as before and giving you the same reduction in your council tax bill (Council Tax Support) and this may be wrong. If your circumstances have changed we may need to change the amount of benefit we pay you or the amount of help we give you with your council tax. Or we may need to stop your benefit or support completely because of a change. If you don't tell us or are slow to tell us, we may have paid too much.

If we do pay you too much:

  • we will expect you to pay it back
  • we may take it back out of the benefit we're still paying you
  • for Council Tax Support we'll reduce the amount of support you get, so you will get a new bill showing more Council Tax to pay

Click here for more information about overpayments of benefit.

We may not be able to pay you extra Housing Benefit for past weeks if you take too long to tell us about something that would give you more benefit

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

If there are strong reasons that explain why you didn't tell us in time, we may be able to use an earlier date but this will not be common.

We may find out about a change in some other way and this will make us suspect fraud

We may need to ask our Fraud Team to check the situation.

If you don't report a change and don't have a good reason for this, you are committing a criminal offence, just as if you gave us false information or hid the truth