Hertsmere Borough Council is reminding local people who claim Housing Benefit or Council Tax support to report any changes in their circumstances.
Many things can affect your benefits – moving house, having a baby, pension changes, people moving into or out of your home to name just a few. So remember, when life changes, your benefits change too.
John Graham, Portfolio Holder for Finance, said: “We have launched a communications drive to remind local people to report any changes in their personal circumstances as it may affect their benefits.”
As part of the campaign, the council is highlighting that help may be available to a resident who has received a housing benefit overpayment.
Cllr Graham adds: “It can be very worrying to find out you have been overpaid and have to pay that money back. Equally, it is frustrating to miss out on benefits that you would otherwise be entitled to. We want to make sure that you are in receipt of your correct benefit entitlement.
“Please report any changes immediately or contact one of our officers. If you have been overpaid Housing Benefit there are some circumstances in which this could be reduced by ‘underlying entitlement’.”
Underlying entitlement is a calculation of what a benefit claimant would have received if their assessment was based on their actual circumstances, when they were overpaid. This means that the amount of overpayment may be reduced.
Try to claim underlying entitlement within one calendar month of your overpayment and provide all the details and proof of your income and circumstances during the overpaid period. The council can then calculate if there is any underlying entitlement and then, if possible, reduce the overpayment.
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Changes in circumstances which can affect Housing Benefit and Council Tax Support include:
• Income changes, such as changes in earnings, employer, pension, tax credits and state benefits.
• Changes in savings, investments and other capital.
• Changes to child care costs.
• Child Benefit stopping for a dependant.
• Rent changes.
• Change of address.
• If a partner or any other person moves in or out of your household.
• If you have any additions to your family.
• If you or your partner are away from home for more than four weeks.
For more information and to notify the council of your changes online go to our changes in circumstances page
We're reminding residents about the 'When life changes, your benefits change too' campaign through our social media channels. Like us on Facebook/Hertsmere
or follow us on Twitter @HertsmereBC
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Posted on Monday 5th February 2018