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Council Tax Reduction - reporting a change of circumstance

This advice applies to England
If your circumstances change while you're getting Council Tax Reduction (CTR) you should tell your local authority as soon as possible. Otherwise, you may get too much CTR and have to pay some of it back. Or you might get too little. There are some changes that everyone who gets CTR must report. There are also certain changes you must report if you get Pension Credit.

Changes that everyone getting CTR must report

If you get CTR you must tell the local authority about any changes in your circumstances which you could reasonably be expected to know might affect your entitlement to CTR or the amount of CTR you get.

However, you don't need to report changes in the ages of yourself or family members, unless a young person in your family is no longer a dependant child.

If you stop getting benefits

You must tell the local authority if you stop getting one of the following benefits:

  • Income Support
  • income-based Jobseekers' Allowance (JSA)
  • income-related Employment And Support Allowance (ESA).

However, you don't have to tell the local authority about this if you're getting Pension Credit.

Changes you must report if you get Pension Credit

If you get Pension Credit you should report most changes of circumstance to the Pension Service, who will pass the information on to your local authority. However, you must still report the following changes to your local authority:

Changes involving non-dependents

You must report any changes involving non-dependants in your household to your local authority. A non-dependent is an adult who lives with you.

Any absences from home

If you're planning to be away from home you’II usually need to tell your local authority.

If you're likely to be away from England, Scotland or Wales for more than 4 weeks you'll need to report it.

If you're likely to be away from home for more than 13 weeks you'll need to report it. This includes if you're still in England, Scotland or Wales.

If you only get savings credit

If you only get savings credit and not the guarantee part of Pension Credit, you must also report changes in the members of your household and changes involving your dependant children to your local authority. This doesn't mean you have to report changes in their ages.

You must also report any changes to your capital which may take it to over £16,000.

You must report any change in your partner's income or capital if they aren't included in your Pension Credit claim.

How to report a change in circumstance

You can report changes in circumstance in writing, by telephone or by any other method allowed by your local authority. You should report changes within 21 days, or as soon as possible after the change happens, whichever is later.

The change might increase your payment and you might miss out on extra money if you tell the local authority late.

You should still tell the local authority if you think a change might reduce your CTR - you won't save money by reporting it later. If you tell the local authority late you could get paid too much and have to pay your CTR back to the local authority. This is called an overpayment.

When do reported changes take effect?

Most changes you report will take effect in the week after the date on which you report the change.

If you stop getting benefits

If you have stopped being entitled to a benefit, the change to your CTR will take place the day after your benefit stops.

If you become part of a couple or stop being part of a couple

If you become part of a couple, or stop being part of a couple, your CTR will change on the day this happens.

If you move to a new area

If you move to a new local authority area, you should tell your old local authority and apply for CTR to your new authority.

Next steps

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