Chelmsford City Council

Housing Benefit

If you (or your partner) are of working age, you may not be able to make a new claim for Housing Benefit. Instead, you will need to apply for Universal Credit to help pay your rent. You can find out whether you need to claim Housing Benefit or Universal Credit.

4. Tell us about any change in circumstance

If your circumstances change, you have one month from the date of the change to tell us about it. You will also have to give us evidence of the change.

To tell us about a change in circumstance, you can call us on: 01245 606400. Choose option 1, and then option 1 again.

To report a change of circumstances, you will need:   

  • your name, address and contact details

  • your benefits claim number, which starts with 100

  • the date each change happened or is going to happen

  • full information about each change       

If there is a change in circumstance, you might be getting the wrong amount of benefit. If you don’t get enough benefit, you will lose money if you don’t tell us about the change. If you get too much benefit, you will have to  repay the over-payment to us.

You need to tell us if you or anyone living with you:

  • has a change of income
  • has a change of savings or capital
  • moves in or out of your home
  • changes job (including working hours or employer)
  • leaves home temporarily (to go to hospital or to prison)
  • has a change in other benefits
  • has a change in rent
  • leaves Great Britain for four weeks or more, for any reason

These are examples of the sort of thing you need to tell us about, and it is not a complete list. If you are not sure, tell us anyway.

If you claim Housing Benefit, you are responsible for reporting any change in circumstance. You can’t rely on anyone else to report the change for you.

You have one month from reporting your change of circumstance to give us the evidence we need. If you don’t give us the evidence we need within one month, we will suspend your claim.

How to return information, forms and evidence


You can visit submit scanned or photographed images of your:

  • original documents
  • completed Discretionary Housing Payment applications
  • completed Self-Employed, Authority to Discuss, Childcare Costs forms or other signed forms


By post

You can send documents to:

Benefit Section
Civic Centre
Duke Street

In person

You can submit evidence in person:

  • by appointment at the Customer Service Centre
  • at Chelmsford Central Library, Market Road on weekdays between 5pm and 6.30pm, on Saturdays between 9am and 5.30pm, or on Sundays between 1pm and 4pm.

We will return any original documents to you in the post.

If you can’t tell us about a change in circumstance by phone, you can download and complete a change of circumstance form. When you have completed the form, you can return it to us at the Customer Service Centre, Civic Centre.


Benefit fraud

You need to report any change in circumstance. If don’t let us know about a change in circumstance, you will be committing benefit fraud.

You can  find out about benefit fraud on GOV.UK.



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    Last updated: 11 November 2019

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