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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 has information on changes that affect your tax credits (link opens in a new window)

See also the article on Tax credits: change of circumstances, compliance checks and overpayments published in the July 2012 Turn2us News e-bulletin for intermediaries.

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