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Tell us about a change to your circumstances

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Changes that may affect your housing benefit or council tax support

You need to tell us about any change that may affect your housing benefit or council tax support.

If you do not tell us about any changes, you may lose money or get too much benefit.

It is an offence not to tell the council about any changes that may affect your benefit.

We may take legal action against you and if we pay you too much benefit, you may have to pay it back.

You must tell the council if:

  • any of your children leave school or leave home
  • anyone moves into or out of your home, including lodgers and sub-tenants
  • your income or wages, or the income of anyone living with you changes, including state benefits
  • your capital or savings change
  • you or anyone living with you becomes a student, starts an apprenticeship or training scheme, goes into hospital or a nursing home, goes to prison, or changes or leaves a job
  • the amount of your rent changes (for people who receive Housing Benefit)
  • you move house
  • you change your name
  • you or your partner are going to be temporarily absent from your home for over 4 weeks
  • you or anyone living with you starts work
  • you receive any decision from the Home Office about your immigration status 

You must let us know about any changes, in writing, within one month of any changes. 

You can report your change online if you have a MyGuildford account. If you don't have an account, registration is quick and easy.

Register or sign into your MyGuildford account

If you have not yet registered online

If you have not yet registered to access your council tax account online, there are more steps to link your online council tax account.

To complete this, you will need the following information:

  • your claim reference number - found on any correspondence you have received about your benefit
  • your name
  • your postcode
  • if you have applied for Local Council Tax Support or have been named on a council tax support application, you will also need to provide your national insurance number. This provides an additional level of security

Once you have linked your benefit account, you can go into the Account Summary screen where you will see a list of Quick Links on the right-hand side. You need to select the 'Upload information or tell us about something else' link.

What details should I give when I tell you about my change?

You need to tell us:

  • who the change affects
  • the date that the change took place
  • what has changed

If there are many changes, you need to list each one.

We need to see proof of your change and you can upload digital photos or scans, with the form. If you upload a photo, please make sure all wording is clear.

For example we may need to see:

  • wage slips, if your or your partners earnings have changed
  • documents that show that any other income that you receive has changed e.g. a maintenance agreement
  • a document that shows the change to your rent payable
  • bank or Building society statements or share certificates, if your savings have changed
  • birth certificate for new children in your household and proof that you receive Child Benefit for them
  • documents that show that your state benefits have changed
  • documents or bank statements that show that a private pension has changed
  • proof of your identity or name change  this could be a birth or marriage certificate, passport or driving licence

Appeal a decision

If you think that a decision we have made about your benefit is wrong, you can appeal. For more information, visit our appeals page.

What happens next?

If we need any further information, we will contact you. If your benefit changes, we will send you a new statement of your benefit entitlement.

If you have been paid too much benefit, we can recover the money.

We can recover overpayments by:

  • deducting money directly from your ongoing Housing Benefit, if you are still entitled to receive any
  • deducting directly from other social security benefits
  • sending you an invoice that will require you to make payments towards the overpayment, until it is cleared
  • asking your employer to set up a Direct Earnings Attachment (deducting directly from your wages)