Housing benefit: How to deal with changes

When your housing benefit can be stopped

The council might suspend your payments while they consider a change in your situation, especially if they need further information.

They must decide if you're still entitled to housing benefit and how much you’ll get.

They can stop your housing benefit if you don't provide the information they ask for within a month.

When payments can be suspended

Payments can be suspended if the council think:

  • an overpayment has been made

  • a change in circumstances affects your claim

The council must write to you and explain their reasons if they suspend your claim. They may ask for additional information or evidence.

If you provide the information within 1 month

Your payments should:

  • restart within 14 days

  • be backdated to the date they were suspended

The council should write to you again explaining your new entitlement. The letter must include information on challenging the decision if you think it’s wrong.

When the council can end your claim

The council can stop your housing benefit payments if you do not provide the evidence or information required to support your claim within 1 month.

Tell the council if you’re unable to get the evidence they require. You may be able to provide other acceptable evidence.

The council must write to you if they decide to end your claim. You can appeal to a housing benefit tribunal if you want to challenge the decision.

In most cases, your housing benefit will also end if you claim universal credit. You should qualify for an extra 2 weeks of housing benefit when you transfer over.  

Complain about suspended or stopped payments

Use the council’s formal complaints process if you are not happy with how they have managed your housing benefit claim.

If you’re not satisfied with the response from the council, you can complain to the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman.

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Last updated: 7 July 2020

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