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What to do if your circumstances change

Updated: 30 Jun 2015
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You must tell us if your circumstances change
If you are already receiving Housing Benefit and your circumstances change you need to tell us about the change as soon as possible as this can effect your entitlement to Housing Benefit and the amount you are eligible to recieve.

Change of Payment Details

If you want to change the bank details your money is paid into:

How do I report a change in circumstances?

You can report it online:

Report any change in your circumstances online (Northern Ireland only)

By telephone:

You can call us on our Housing Benefit line: 03448 920 902. For identification purposes you will be asked for your name, address, date of birth and National Insurance Number.

By writing to us:

Download the relevant Housing Benefit forms and post them to us.
Once completed, please send the completed form(s) to the appropriate office from the list below:

Housing Benefit offices


Housing Executive tenants only:
Public Housing Benefit Unit, 32-36 Great Victoria Street, Belfast, BT2 7BA
Non Housing Executive tenants:
Private Housing Benefit Unit (Belfast Area), 32-36 Great Victoria Street, Belfast, BT2 7BA


Bangor, Newtownards, Castlereagh, Downpatrick
Housing Benefit Unit, Strangford House, Court Street, Newtownards, BT23 7NX
Lisburn, Poleglass
Housing Benefit Unit, 29 Antrim Street, Lisburn, BT28 1AU


Banbridge, Newry, Armagh, Lurgan, Portadown
Housing Benefit Unit, 6th Floor, Marlborough House, Central Way, Craigavon, BT64 1AJ


Ballymena, Antrim, Newtownabbey, Carrickfergus, Larne, Ballycastle, Coleraine, Ballymoney
Housing Benefit Unit, Twickenham House, Mount Street, Ballymena, BT43 6BP


Londonderry, Limavady, Magherafelt, Strabane
Housing Benefit Unit, Richmond Chambers, The Diamond, Londonderry, BT48 6QP


Cookstown, Dungannon, Omagh, Fermanagh
Housing Benefit Unit, McAllister House, Woodside Avenue, Omagh, BT79 7BP

Examples of changes of circumstances you need to tell us about:

Income details

You must tell us if:
  • you or your partner start work
  • you start or stop getting Child Benefit, Jobseeker’s Allowance or any other state benefit; or
  • there is any other change in your income or savings.

Household details

You must tell us if:
  • a partner moves in or out
  • any of your children leave school, start work or start to get Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • anyone comes to live with you or anyone leaves (including lodgers or tenants)
  • you have a student child who normally studies away from home and they return home during the holiday period
  • you or your partner go into hospital, (tell us the date you go in and when you go home)
  • someone living with you stops or starts to get Jobseeker’s Allowance or starts work; or
  • you stop or start caring for a disabled person.

Going abroad

You must tell us if you or your partner, or both of you, leave the country. Tell us before you go and as soon as you get back.

Accommodation details

You must tell us if:
  • your rent goes up or down; or
  • you change your accommodation, even if this is to another room in the same house.

Other changes which may affect your benefit

  • If Disability Living Allowance stops, starts or changes
  • If you have received benefit as a student and your course finishes.

What happens if I don’t tell you about changes?

  • If you don’t tell us, we’re likely to go on paying the same rate of Housing Benefit as before and this may be wrong.
  • We may need to change the amount we pay you, or stop your Housing Benefit completely because of a change.
If you don’t tell us, or are slow to tell us, we may have paid you too much Housing Benefit. We will expect you to pay it back, and we may take it out of any other benefits you are being paid.
We usually need to see evidence when reporting a change of circumstance. For example wage slips showing an increase or decrease in earnings, or telling us a forwarding address when a non dependant leaves the household.