Once you start receiving Council Tax Reduction, you must tell the benefit section about any changes in your own, or any members of your household's changes in circumstances that may affect your entitlement straight away.
It is important that you tell the benefit section as soon as possible once you have a change. This will ensure that you do not lose any extra entitlement to benefit you may have or be asked to pay back any overpayment that may occur.
What changes do I need to inform you about?
- Whenever you have a change of address.
- Whenever any person joins or leaves your household.
- Whenever the income or capital for anyone in the property has changed.
- Whenever anyone in the property goes onto, comes off or has a change in the amount of any Tax Credits or benefits received.
- Whenever anyone in the property starts or finishes work.
- Whenever there is a change in your childcare costs.
It is important to notify the benefit section within one calendar month of the date of the change to prevent any loss of entitlement to benefit or reduce the amount of any overpaid benefit that may happen due to the change.
How can I report a change in circumstances?
If you have a change of circumstances (other than a change of address), you can notify the benefit section of the change:
- In person to either of the Councils One Stop Shop's, in Bootle or Southport. Or at one of the following Libraries, Southport, Crosby, Formby, Maghull or Netherton.
- By email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- By post to Sefton Council, Finance Department, P.O. Box 21, Bootle, L20 3US.
What information do I need to provide?
When you inform the benefit section of a change in circumstances we will need to see evidence of the change. By providing this information it will speed up the time it takes for us to action your change in circumstances.
- Provide us with the date of the change.
- Provide us with evidence of the change. If you are unsure of what information we require please contact us.
- Provide a contact telephone number, to enable us to contact you directly if we have a query that needs clarification.
What if I wish to cancel my claim?
If you wish to cancel your claim you must contact the benefit section as soon as possible. You should also, if requested to do so, confirm in writing the reason why you wish your claim to be cancelled and the date you wish your claim to be cancelled from.
What is an overpayment?
An overpayment occurs when you have received benefit that you were not entitled to. Overpayments can occur due to various reasons, such as:
- You moving out of your home.
- Someone else moving in to or out of your home.
- You or a member of your household may have started work.
- You or a member of your household may have had an increase in your income or capital.
If you have been paid too much you will normally be asked to pay back the overpayment,
How will I be informed about an overpayment?
When an overpayment occurs we will write to you, the letter will tell you:
- The reason you have received too much
- A breakdown of the overpayment.
- How much the overpayment is.
- If you have to pay back the amount.
- How the overpayment will be recovered.
- How you can appeal if you think the overpayment is incorrect.
Do I have to repay the overpayment?
We will look at who has caused the overpayment and to who benefit has been paid and then make our decision if the overpayment is recoverable. Any overpayment will be debited to your Council Tax account and you will receive a new Council Tax demand. This will result in an increase in your monthly Council Tax Payments.
What if I do not agree with the overpayment?
If you disagree with the overpayment you must write in to the Benefits Section within one calendar month of the date on the decision letter. Your full appeal rights will be shown on the overpayment letter and the decision letter.