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Report a change in circumstances

You must inform us immediately if your situation changes as this can affect the amount of benefit you receive.

Email: housing.benefits@westlancs.gov.uk to request a change in circumstances form

Tel: 0300 790 0380 (calls to 03 numbers cost no more than a national rate call to an 01 or 02 number and count towards any inclusive minutes in the same way as 01 and 02 calls. These rules apply to calls from any type of line including mobile, BT, other fixed line or payphone)

Write: Benefits Service, West Lancashire Borough Council, PO Box 16, 52 Derby Street, Ormskirk, West Lancashire, L39 2DF.

What types of changes do I need to report?

  • Changes about people living in your home
  • A change in your address, even on a temporary basis
  • You or anyone living with you starts work or has a change in their earnings
  • You or anyone living with you has a change to their benefits or income
  • Changes about children or students
  • Your savings increase
  • Any other changes, for example the amount of rent you are charged changes or there is a change in your tenancy

If you are not sure whether you need to tell us about a change, please call our Customer Contact Centre on 0300 790 0380 or email us at housing.benefits@westlancs.gov.uk.

I've had a change - what do you need to know?

Changes about people living in your home

  • If an adult moves in, we need their name, date of birth, previous address, the date they moved in, their relationship to you and proof of their income.
  • If you have had a baby or a child moves in, we need their name, date of birth, previous address, the date they moved in, their relationship to you and who receives child benefit for them in writing.
  • If someone moves out we need their forwarding address and the date they moved out in writing.

You change address, even on a temporary basis

  • If you move home to another address in the West Lancashire Borough Council area, you will need to complete a change of address form. Alternatively you can email us at housing.benefits@westlancs.gov.uk or visit the council offices in Derby Street, Ormskirk or the Customer Service Point in the Concourse, Skelmersdale.
  • If you are moving out of the West Lancashire Borough Council area or no longer wish to claim housing benefit or council tax support please let us know straight away.

You or anyone living with you starts work or has a change in their earnings

  • If someone in your household starts work or has a change in their earnings we need to know the date of this change. We also need consecutive payslips - this can be two monthly, two four-weekly, three two-weekly, or five weekly payslips. Alternatively, you can provide a Certificate of Earnings that has been fully completed by your employer.
  • If you become self employed or your earnings change we need your latest set of business accounts or we can send you a self-employed form to complete which will give us the details we need to assess your earnings.

You or anyone living with you has a change to their benefits or income

  • For changes in benefit we need a copy of the letter you were sent. Do not assume the DWP will tell us of these changes.
  • If your child tax credit, working tax credit, private pensions or any other income received changes you must inform us of this.

Changes about children or students

  • If you or someone living with you stops getting Child Benefit for a child, please tell us the date this happened and why it stopped.
  • If you become a student, we need details of your course, proof of your student grant and any bursaries you receive.
  • If someone living with you becomes a student we require proof of them being a full time student from the place where they study. This can only be provided once the course has started.
  • If you start or stop paying for childcare, or the payments change, we need a letter from your childcare provider giving the date of change and how much you are charged per week, both when your child attends and does not attend. HMRC will not tell us of these changes.

Your savings increase

  • If your capital/savings increase we need to see your Bank/Building Society/Post Office/Credit Union books or latest statements (these are not required if you receive Pension Credits, Guarantee Credit).

Other changes

  • If your rent changes, we need a new tenancy agreement or a letter signed and dated by your landlord telling us of the change. We will not accept a 'care of' address for your landlord. Please do not assume your landlord will inform this department.

Please note: we always need to see the original documents when we ask for proof. Copies will not be accepted. 

What happens if I don't report a change?

  • If the change would mean the amount of housing benefit and/or council tax support would go up and you do not tell us within one month of the change, then we may not be able to amend your claim from the date it occurred. This means you may lose housing benefit and/or council tax support that you may have been entitled to.
  • If the change would reduce your entitlement to housing benefit and/or council tax support we will take it back to the date the change occurred.
  • If you delay in telling us then this could result in an overpayment. You will then need to pay this back from your future housing benefit payments and you may have to pay more council tax.
  • If you do not get housing benefit anymore, we will send you an invoice and we can immediately arrange for your wages to be reduced by up to 40% of your take home pay; your employer can also make a charge in addition to this.
  • We can ask the DWP to recover any overpayment from other benefits you receive.
  • If you do not tell us about a change relating to housing benefit, we may make a referral to the DWP's Fraud and Error Service for them to investigate. This could lead to a court case and a criminal conviction.