Starting Work, when to tell HB/ TC, ?

Hello there.
Long time lurker but avid reader here! I'm after a bit of advice of my own now if anyone would be so kind to help. I am starting a new job next week after being a stay at home mom for a number of years. I am really happy for having landed a job quicker than I thought. My question is, we have been receiving full housing benefit and council tax benefit due to my partner working 24 hours a week. I have done the calculations and we will be paying full rent and council tax, now I have found work. That's fine. My question is, when is the best time to inform HB, CT and Tax Credits that I am going back to work? Obviously, My first wage wont be for a month. I'm a bit concerned what we will live on and how we will pay our rent and bills once all those are stopped before I get paid? Do I inform them the first day I start work, or a few weeks in ? On one hand I don't want to owe loads of money to TC ect, but then how can I find rent money for a month? ....sorry, hope that was clear to understand!

many thanks in advance xxx


  • Darksparkle
    Darksparkle Posts: 5,465 Forumite
    You should inform tax credit as soon as a change happens but must inform them within 30 days of the change.

    If you don't you could be over or underpaid depending on circumstances eg claiming childcare help, working over 30hrs etc.
  • Inform Housing Benefits when you know when you are about to commence work.

    My Council actively slaps on £50 penalties for late notifications of changes of circumstances:-

    Civil Penalties - Duty to Notify Changes in Circumstances

    These rules apply to Housing Benefit (and where appropriate Council Tax Benefit - they are not applicable to Council Tax Support but a linked duty to notify changes exists for CTS and you may be liable for more than one penalty charge if you do not tell us about changes in circumstances)

    A civil penalty of £50 can be added to the amount of a recoverable overpayment of benefit of more than £65 where the claimant is viewed as being at fault.

    This penalty applies to overpayments wholly arising on or after 1 October 2012. The £50 penalty may be applied to an overpayment in three different circumstances:

    Where a person has been overpaid as a result of negligently making an incorrect statement or representation, or negligently giving incorrect information or evidence.
    The DWP says that ‘negligently’ means ‘acting carelessly, not paying sufficient attention to the task in hand, or disregarding the importance of what is required to be done in relation to the claim or an award.’

    Where a person has been overpaid as a result of failing, without reasonable excuse, to provide information or evidence required in connection with a claim for or award of benefit.
    The DWP says that ‘reasonable excuse’ means a ‘credible reason or justification’ and might include being in a situation of significant stress or suffering ill health;

    Where a person has been overpaid as a result of failing, without reasonable excuse (see above), to notify a relevant change of circumstances.
    Where a change of circumstances we become aware of causes an overpayment of more than £65 we can apply a £50 penalty.

    A civil penalty cannot be applied where the claimant has, in respect of the overpayment, been charged with an offence, been cautioned or been subject to a penalty as an alternative to prosecution under section 115A of the Social Security Administration Act 1992.

    There is the right of appeal against the imposition of a civil penalty. You will be notified of the civil penalty in the overpayment decision letter.
    These are my own views and you should seek advice from your local Benefits Department or CAB.
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