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My benefit entitlement

What to do if your benefit entitlement changes

The amount of Housing Benefit and/or Council Tax Support you are entitled to depends on your household income, savings, rent and other matters relating to your household. If there is change in any of these factors the amount of Housing Benefit and/ or Council Tax Support you will be entitled to can increase or decrease. You may also be no longer entitled to benefits.

You can check the information we used to assess your claim on:

If you need help to understand the information on your benefit letter, see the help to understand your benefit entitlement page.

If there has been a change in your personal or household circumstances and you have not told us, you will need to let us know by completing the change of circumstances form. This will ensure that you are receiving the correct amount of benefit.

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.

Below are some of the common reasons for a change in your benefit entitlement.

A change in your household or personal circumstances

When you tell us about a change to your household or personal circumstances we will assess your claim based on your new circumstances. The change in your circumstances may mean that you are entitled to more or less benefit than you was previously receiving. It can also mean that you are no longer entitled to benefits. For example if you start work or have an increase in your income your entitlement may reduce. If you have a new baby then your entitlement may increase.

You can check the information we used to assess your claim on:

If you need help to understand the information on the letter, please see the help to understand your benefit entitlement page.

Information received from the Department of Work and Pensions

Occasionally the Department for Work and Pensions (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. The change may mean that you are entitled to more or less benefit than you was previously receiving. It can also mean that you are no longer entitled to benefits.

It is your responsibility to inform us about any changes to your circumstances, including a change in the benefits you receive from the DWP, so that we can ensure that you are receiving the correct amount of benefit.

You can check the information we used to assess your claim on:

If you need help to understand the information on your benefit letter, see the help to understand your benefit entitlement page.

Income

We use the amount of income your household receives to work out the amount of Housing Benefit and/or Council Tax Support you are entitled to.

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:

If you need help to understand the information on your benefit letter, see the help to understand your benefit entitlement page.

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 if have applied a non-dependant deduction to your claim and the amount we are deducting on:

If you need help to understand the information on your benefit letter, see the help to understand your benefit entitlement page.

Overpaid benefits

Your Housing Benefit and/or Council Tax Support entitlement can change if you have been overpaid. An overpayment can happen if we were informed of a change in your personal or household circumstances after the change had taken place.

If you have been overpaid we will send you a letter to inform you of the overpayment and the reason. You can check if you have been overpaid on MyHarrow Account.

If you are still entitled to Housing Benefit we may deduct some of the money from your entitlement to recover the overpayment. This will mean that the amount of Housing Benefit you now receive will be less than you previously received. If there is a difference between the amount of Housing Benefit you receive and your rent you will have to pay the difference from your own income.

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.  You can check if your household income is above the Benefit Cap limit by using the Benefit Cap calculator.

You can also check the information we used to assess your claim on:

If you need help to understand the information on your benefit letter, see the help to understand your benefit entitlement page.

For more information about the Benefit Cap see the Benefit Cap page.

Help 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.