HomeRulesEmploymentBenefitsYour Entitlements › Reporting Changes
Reporting a Change in Circumstances

It is not uncommon for your personal or household situation to change. Even so, you must report any changes in circumstances while you are claiming benefits.

WHY REPORT CHANGES? There are several important reasons to report changes to your circumstances.

  • It is the only way to ensure you keep getting the correct amount of benefit payments.
  • You might have your claim for benefits reduced or stopped if either:
    • You delay reporting a change to your situation.
    • You give incorrect or inaccurate information.

Note: Information on how to report a change of circumstance while you’re claiming benefits is also available in Welsh language (Cymraeg).

Failing to report a change or an error means you may get paid too much money. If that happens, you will usually need to repay a benefits overpayment. In some cases, you can also get a fixed rate civil penalty of £50.

A List of Changes You Must Report

When it comes to your rights to claim benefits circumstantial or situational changes can include:

  • A change of name (e.g. by deed poll).
  • Moving homes to a different address.
  • Having a baby.
  • People moving into or out of the place where you live (e.g. a child, your partner, or a lodger).
  • Starting or finishing education, training, or an apprenticeship.
  • Starting or finishing a job (including if you change your working hours).
  • An increase or a decrease to your income (e.g. going up or going down).
  • Getting married or getting divorced.
  • Starting or ending a civil partnership.
  • Starting to take care of someone (e.g. becoming a carer) or you stop caring for someone.
  • Going into hospital, a care home, or into sheltered accommodation.
  • Any changes to your medical condition or a disability.
  • Changing your doctor.
  • Planning to be abroad while on benefits for any length of time.
  • Changes to other sources of income (e.g. student finance, sick pay, or money received from a charity).
  • Changes to your savings, investments, pension, or property.
  • Changes to the benefits that you get (e.g. Income Support) or anyone else in your household gets).
  • The death of your partner or someone that you live with.

Note: If you ‘intentionally‘ fail to report a change to your situation you would be committing benefit fraud.

Benefits: How to Report a Death

As a rule, you can use the cross-government ‘Tell Us Once service‘ if someone dies while receiving benefits in the United Kingdom.

But, the process of reporting the death of someone receiving Social Security benefits differs in Northern Ireland. You should report a death to the Bereavement Service instead.

How to Report Changes for Benefits

When you are reporting changes, the actual organisation that you need to tell will depend on which benefits you are getting. So, you may need to report the change to more than one organisation if you get several benefits.

Child Benefit

In most cases, it will be easier to report changes using the Child Benefit online service. You can also call or write a letter to the Child Benefit Office.

Note: You must also report a change in circumstances to your children if you are claiming Child Benefit.

Disability Benefits

Contact the Disability Service Centre to report changes if you are getting:

  • Disability Living Allowance (DLA)
  • Attendance Allowance (AA)
  • Personal Independence Payment (PIP)
Housing Benefit

You should inform your local council to let them know about any changes in your circumstances if you are getting Housing Benefit.

Pension Credit

You can phone the Pension Service helpline if your circumstances change while you are receiving Pension Credit.

Universal Credit

Reporting changes will ensure you get the right amount each month. There are several ways to report a change of circumstances while getting Universal Credit.

Reporting All Other Benefits

You can report all other benefits related changes to the Jobcentre Plus office. You will need to have your National Insurance number handy when you call them.

How to Report a Change in Your Circumstances while Claiming UK Benefits