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Why have my benefits been reduced or stopped?

There are a number of reasons your benefits may have been stopped or reduced. Some of the common reasons are:

  • there has been a change in your household or personal circumstances
  • you have been overpaid benefits
  • the Benefit cap
  • changes to your income
  • non-dependants (other adults in your household)

Changes in your household or personal circumstances

If you have told us about a change to your household or personal circumstances we will assess your claim based on your new circumstances. As a result of the change you may be entitled to less Housing Benefit or Council Tax Support than you were previously receiving. It can also mean that you are no longer entitled to Housing Benefit.

Occasionally the DWP will inform us if there has been a change to your benefits such as Pension Credits or Universal Credits. When we receive this information we will assess your claim based on your new circumstances. However, it is your responsibility to inform us about any changes to your circumstances.

Every time we assess your claim we will send you a decision notification. It will advise you of the reason for the assessment and the information we used to assess your claim. You can use the decision notification to confirm the reason your housing benefit was changed. You can check the information we used to calculate your entitlement on My Harrow Account.

Overpaid benefits

In some circumstances you may have been overpaid Housing Benefit or council Tax Support. This can happen if we are informed of a change after it has taken place.

If you have been overpaid we will send you a letter to inform you of the overpayment and the reason.  If you are still entitled to Housing Benefit we may deduct some of the money from your entitlement to recover the overpayment.

You can check if you have been overpaid on MyHarrow Account.

Benefit cap

The benefit cap is a limit to the total amount of income a household can receive in certain benefits. If the amount that you receive in benefits is above the benefit cap, your Housing Benefit or Universal Credit will be reduced until your combined benefits are within the benefit cap limits.
To see if you might be affected, you can use the benefit cap calculator. For more information see the benefit cap page.

Income

If your income is above a certain level then you won’t be able to get full Housing Benefit or Council Tax Support.  If your income changes a lot, for example because you work different hours each week, then we will work out an average. National insurance, tax and half of any pension contributions are taken out of your gross earnings to get a net amount. You can check the income we used to assess your claim on MyHarrow Account.

Non-dependants (other adults in your household)

If you have adults living in your household other than your partner, your Housing Benefit and/or Council Tax Support may be reduced.  This is called a non-dependant deduction.  The amount of the deduction will depend on a number of things, such as the income of the other adults.
You can check how much is being deducted, on your MyHarrow Account. Alternatively you can check your decision notification.

Do we have the correct information?

It is important that you provide us with up to date information so that we can assess your claim correctly. You can check the information we have used to assess your claim on My Harrow Account.
 If you haven’t informed us about a change please complete our change of circumstances form.

What to do if you disagree with your entitlement

If you disagree with your entitlement you can submit a dispute. We will review your claim and provide you with an explanation of your entitlement.

Struggling to pay the difference between your rent and Housing Benefit?

If you are struggling to pay the difference between your rent and your Housing Benefit, you can apply for a Discretionary Housing Payment (DHP). DHP is paid in exceptional circumstances, normally for a short period.  For more information see the DHP pages.