Change of Circumstances (Benefits)

If you are getting Housing Benefit or Council Tax Rebate, you must tell us if there is a change in your circumstances or those of anyone living in your household. You must tell us as soon as it happens, even if it is only for a short time. This is because it could affect the amount of benefit you get.

How do I report a change?

The easiest way to report your change is online. You will need to answer a few security questions to access your claim. When your answers match the information already held on our system, you will be able to report your change. The information collects on your claim instantly, so no waiting around for your letters or documents to be seen by the processing team. Your claim is reviewed quicker and your new benefit entitlement will be paid faster.

Why is it important that you tell us quickly?

Most changes, even small ones, may affect how much benefit you get.

  • If the change means you are entitled to more money, you will miss out if you don't tell us.
  • The change may mean you are entitled to less benefit. If you do not tell us about it straightaway, we may pay you too much benefit. If this happens, you will have to pay back the money that you were not entitled to.

Most common types of change to tell us about are:

Changes to the money you get

  • If you or your partner start a new job or leave work
  • Changes to pay, earnings, or hours worked for you partner or you
  • Receiving a new Tax Credit award, new benefit or a change to how much benefit you receive
  • If you or someone living with you starts or stops getting Income Support, Employment Support Allowance, or Job Seekers Allowance.
  • You must tell us even if your benefit only stops for a short period, for example if you go on holiday
  • The money non-dependants get increases or decreases
  • Changes in savings, capital, or investments (unless it stays below £6,000 in total)
  • An inheritance
  • Getting a new or different benefit
  • Changes in your student income 

Changes in your home

  • If you move, or if someone moves in with you or moves out
  • You change your address
  • A partner comes to live with you or leaves
  • If your children leave school or move away from your home
  • If you have a baby or adopt a child
  • If your rent changes

Other changes

  • Becoming a student or starting (or stopping) a Youth Training Scheme or MSC course
  • Changes to the number of hours worked or studied

The above are only examples of common changes. It is important for you to tell us about any changes, not just the ones listed here. If you are not sure if a change will affect your benefit, please tell us anyway.

Alternatively you can:

Phone us

You can phone us 01643 703704

Visit us

West Somerset House, Killick Way, Williton TA4 4QA

You can write to us at:

Benefits Service
West Somerset Council
West Somerset House
Killick Way


Telling other organisations
If you get other benefits such as Job Seekers Allowance or Income Support, you may need to tell those agencies as well. Phone 0845 608 8564  (0845 608 8551 textphone) to see if your change may affect your other benefits.