Herefordshire Housing

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Struggling to make ends meet because of a mistake in the past isn’t a situation anyone wants to be in. Yet it’s a problem some of us are facing because they’ve been overpaid benefits by the benefits offioce! At first being overpaid seems like a great thing but when they find out they'll just reduce future payments. This reduction could happen years on from the overpayment, meaning a decrease in future income.

Although at the time of overpayment it might seem handy, it’s a good idea to tell the relevant authority about a change of circumstances while claiming benefits.

Examples of the changes needing to be report are;

  • Change of working hours
  • Any other change in income
  • Started or stopped living with a partner
  • Had a baby
  • Started full time education or training
  • Rented out a room in your home
  • Been abroad for more than 8 weeks
  • Changed address

If you’re receiving help to pay your rent through Housing Benefit or Universal Credit you’ll also need to tell the relevant authority.  

  • Any changes in your rent
  • Anyone moving in or out of your property

Benefit entitlement goes up as well as down

The amount of benefit you are entitled to could change if your circumstances change. Your benefit entitlement could go up or down. Failure to report a change could mean missing out on extra money. Alternatively being awarded too much money in error just means you’ll be required to pay it back, the penalties are pretty big too; up to £2000 with a criminal record and the prospect of losing benefits for up to 3 years.

Who to tell about a change in circumstances

Type of Benefit  Organisation Contact details

Income Support

Jobseekers Allowance

Employment and Support Allowance

Department of Work and Pensions - General 0345 608 8545
Universal Credit  Universal Credit Office 0345 600 0723
Tax Credit Tax Credit Office

0345 300 3900

www.gov.uk

Pension Credit Pension Credit 0345 606 0265
Housing Benefit Herefordshire Council

01432 260333

benefits@herefordshire.gov.uk