Change in circumstances
My situation has changed since making my claim. Do I have to
let anyone know?
It is very important to let the relevant benefit office know
when there has been a change in your circumstances which could
affect your benefit entitlement. This is because your benefits
depend on the information you gave when you made your claim.
When you make a claim you will be told which changes must be
reported and how long you have to report the change.
Common changes include:
- You start living with someone
- You stop living with someone e.g. Separating from a partner
- You get a job
- Your hours of work change
- You get a pay rise
- You win or inherit some money
- Your child reaches the age of 16 or moves out
- You stop getting benefits like Income Support
- You go into hospital or into residential care.
If your circumstances change, you may be entitled to more
benefit, less benefit, or you may no longer be entitled to get the
benefit at all.
If you do not inform the relevant benefits office you could be
paid too much benefit and have to pay it back, and this could count
as fraud which is a criminal offence.
If you get into trouble because you did not report a change in
your circumstances, it is very important to get expert advice as
soon as you can.
For more information, see the GOV.UK information on civil
penalties for not reporting changes that affect your benefits (link
opens in a new window).
The Gov.UK website also has information on
changes that affect your tax credits (link opens in a new
Separating from a partner
If you have recently separated from a person with whom you used
to live as partners, the benefits you can get may have changed.
After separating from your partner, you may receive some
benefits or Tax Credits that you were not able to get when living
with a partner, or you might get an increased or decreased amount
of the same benefits and Tax Credits.
Generally any benefits paid to you personally for your needs,
for example, Disability Living
Allowance, will continue to be paid once you have separated
from a partner. However, you should tell everyone who pays you
benefits or Tax Credits that you have separated, so that they
can check if it could affect your benefit
You might be receiving benefits from Jobcentre Plus, HM
Revenue and Customs and/or your local authority and should tell each
office about your change.
If you do not let them know as soon as you can that you are now
a single person, you might be paid too much benefit that you may
have to pay back.
Last updated: 21 November 2011
Reviewed: 8 April 2014