East Lothian Council

Welcome to the Benefits Section

Changes of circumstances

Let us help you get your benefits right

The law says you must tell us if there is any change to the information we have used to decide on your entitlement to benefit/reduction.

You must tell us about any changes that have occurred from the moment you filled in your claim form - even if you are still waiting for a decision on your claim. It is important to tell us about any changes as soon as they happen.

If you delay telling us about any changes:

  • we may pay you too much benefit/reduction which you will have to pay back (for further information, see What if I am overpaid benefit/reduction).
  • we may not be able to backdate your claim

If a change occurs in your circumstances and you're not sure whether it's relevant, tell us about it anyway; we can easily let you know if it affects your claim. Some examples are:

  • changes in the income, capital/savings or other circumstances of your partner or yourself
  • changes in the number of dependant children living with you
  • changes affecting other adults in your household (e.g. grown up sons, daughters or other relatives, friends and boarders)
  • if you, your partner, or anyone else in the household starts or stops work
  • if you move out of the property you are claiming from
  • if you become a student or finish a course while claiming as a student
  • if your landlord changes

How to tell us about changes

You can let us know about any changes in writing, making sure you include your benefit/reduction number (you'll find this is on any of the letters we've sent you about your benefit/reduction).

Alternatively, you can either fill in our online Change in Circumstances form or download and print a PDF version.

Information you should include:

  • what has changed and the date it changed
  • all the details (e.g. new amounts of income, the name and date of birth of someone who has come to live with you)

We usually need evidence of the change, so remember to send us anything like an award letter for a benefit or tax credit, recent income and/or capital proof showing what has changed. These should be original documents, not photocopies. Documents can be taken in to any of our Local Offices. 

For more information about the types of evidence we might need to assess your claim, see Evidence we need to support your claim.                    

Don't delay telling us about any changes while you wait for five weeks' or two months' worth of payslips to post to us - you can send these on to us later. When you do receive them, send us the original payslips, as we can't accept photocopies. All documents will be returned to you.

Don't leave it until the next time we contact you: tell us about any changes now!

PO Box 13261, Haddington, EH41 3YG

Telephone: 01620 827730/827729

Monday, Tuesday and Thursday: 09.00-16.30, Wednesday: 10.00-16.30, Friday: 09.00-15.30

East Lothian Council, John Muir House Brewery Park Haddington East Lothian EH41 3HA.