Starting work can mean a lot of practical problems. Your Housing Benefit and Council Tax Support will change so you need to tell us if you start a new job, increase your normal hours, start working overtime, get a pay rise and so on. You need to tell us immediately!
Extended payments of Housing Benefit (HB) and Council Tax Support (CTS)
This can make things easier when you start a job. It means your HB and CTS can continue at your old rate for up to four weeks after you start work if you or your partner have been getting one of the following benefits for six months before you start a job.
- Income Support
- Jobseeker's Allowance
- Incapacity Benefit
- Severe Disablement Allowance
- Employment and Support Allowance
The job must be expected to last five weeks or longer; and the following rules (look under the appropriate heading for the benefit you have been getting for six months) must apply.
For people who were getting Income Support, Jobseeker's Allowance (either income-based or contribution-based) or income-related Employment and Support Allowance
- You or your partner must have been getting this for an unbroken period of 26 weeks before it stopped because of work.
- You or your partner must have been getting Income Support, income-based Jobseeker's Allowance (not contribution-based Jobseeker's Allowance) or income-related Employment and Support Allowance immediately before you started work.
For people who were getting Incapacity Benefit, Severe Disablement Allowance or contributory Employment and Support Allowance
- You or your partner must have been getting one of these contributory benefits for an unbroken period of 26 weeks (and not getting any Income Support or income-related Employment and Support Allowance as well) before the contributory benefit stopped because of work.
- You or your partner must not have been getting Income Support, income-based Jobseeker's Allowance or income-related Employment and Support Allowance immediately before you started work.
- You or your partner must not be on Pension Credit.
You don't need to claim an extended payment, but you must tell us about starting work. The extended payment means that your old rate of HB and CTS can carry on for four weeks even though you're now working. We will need more details from you about your income now you're working, though, if you want your HB and CTS to continue after these four weeks.
Housing Benefit and Council Tax Support while you're working
Unless you're well paid, you may still get some Housing Benefit or Council Tax Support now you're working, but we'll need more details from you including your new income and up-to-date details about your family, savings and investments to work out your new amount of benefit.
When you tell us you've started work, we'll need details of your income now you're working. We usually need your last five weekly payslips or last two monthly payslips, but if your new employer can provide details of your likely pay (before and after deductions), we can start payments before you've worked that long. Or, you can send us the payslips you've got from your new job so far, and give us permission to contact your employer. Give us their name, address and phone number and make sure your name, address and benefits number is on anything you send us.
Tell us by filling in our online changes form. Don't delay or you could lose benefit.
If you have to pay for childcare while you're at work, we can take this into account when we work out your benefit so you may get more.
There are other benefits for people who work and/or have children. You may be able to claim Universal Credit. This may stop your Housing Benefit and affect your Council Tax Support so we need to know as soon as you are awarded Universal Credit.