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Change of address - Income Support / Jobseeker's Allowance (Income based) / Employment and Support Allowance (Income Related)

The following outlines how your Income Support, Jobseeker's Allowance (income based) or Employment and Support Allowance (Income Related) may be affected following a change of address.

Permanent change of address

In the event of a change of address you should contact your benefit paying office. You must also notify any changes in your circumstances which may affect your entitlement.

The action required in respect of housing costs (rent, mortgage etcetera) will depend on whether you rent or own your home.

Tenants

You should also report if there have been any other changes in your circumstances or those of your family for example starting or ceasing to live with someone as man and wife.

Home owners

The following situations relate to a change of address which results in a change to your home ownership status.

Previous home sold, new home not purchased

If you have sold your previous property full details of all proceeds received from this sale should be declared as this may affect your Income Support / Jobseeker's Allowance / Employment and Support Allowance.

If the capital from a sale of your house is earmarked for a future home purchase it may be ignored for six months, or longer in certain circumstances.

Before deciding to purchase another property you should seek advice from your benefit paying office.

You will not usually have housing costs included in your Income Support / Jobseeker's Allowance (Income based) Employment and Support Allowance (Income Related) for the first 13 weeks.

If you have a partner who has reached or is over the age they can claim Pension Credit you may receive help with mortgage costs from the outset of your claim to Income Support / Jobseeker's Allowance (Income based) / Employment and Support Allowance (Income Related).

If your mortgage was taken out before 2 October 1995, and you claim Income Support / Jobseeker's Allowance (Income based) / Employment and Support Allowance (Income Related), you will not have housing costs included in your Income Support / Jobseeker's Allowance (Income based) / Employment and Support Allowance (Income Related) for the first eight weeks. You will then receive 50 per cent of your eligible housing costs for 18 weeks and 100 per cent of your eligible housing costs from the 27th week of your claim. This will also apply to you if you take out a mortgage on or after 2 October 1995 and are carers who are not required to be available for employment, in custody pending trial or sentence, have been refused payment under a mortgage payment protection policy because of a pre-existing medical condition or HIV, or lone parents who have claimed due to the death of, or being abandoned by, a partner, and where the assessment unit includes a child.

Rules from 5 January 2009

If you are making a claim to Income Support / Jobseeker's Allowance (Income based) / Employment and Support Allowance (Income Related) from 5 January 2009 you are entitled to help with your housing costs from week 14 of your claim.

If you are already entitled to Income Support, Jobseeker's Allowance (Income based) / Employment and Support Allowance (Income Related) on 4 January 2009, but are not yet receiving help with your housing costs, you may entitled to full help with housing costs:

  • from 5 January 2009 - if you have already been entitled to Income Support, Jobseeker's Allowance (Income based)/Employment and Support Allowance (Income Related) for more than 13 weeks
  • from week 14 of your claim - if you have already been entitled to Income Support, Jobseeker's Allowance (Income based) / Employment and Support Allowance (Income Related) for 13 weeks or less

In addition, if your mortgage was taken out before 2 October 1995, and you are in the first 13 weeks of your claim on 4 January 2009, you will receive:

  • half your housing costs from week nine of your claim up to £100,000 under the old rules
  • full help from week 14 up to £200,000 under the new rules

If you make a new claim to benefit that links to a previous claim that ended before 4 January 2009, you will be paid under the old rules. If you have excess capital or income you will be paid under the old rules.

The length of time you have been continuously receiving Income Support / Jobseeker's Allowance / Employment and Support Allowance will count towards the waiting period if you take on a new eligible loan.

The upper limit amount for a loan that housing costs can be calculated on increased from £100,000 to £200,000.on 5 January 2009

If you increase your eligible housing costs you will have the amount allowed within your applicable amount restricted.

This change affects any increase in housing costs during the relevant period.

The relevant period is defined as:

  • when a person is entitled to Income Support / Jobseeker's Allowance (Income based) / Employment and Support Allowance (Income Related)
  • when a person is living as a member of a family, one of whom receives Income Support / Jobseeker's Allowance (Income based) / Employment and Support Allowance (Income Related)
  • between two such periods of entitlement, and any breaks that do not exceed 26 weeks, count as one relevant period

The restrictions on increases to housing costs may not apply if the change of address was necessary to:

  • buy alternative accommodation more suited for a disabled person
  • to provide separate sleeping accommodation for children of different sexes aged 10 or over  but under 20.

Responsible for housing costs on two homes

If you are responsible for housing costs for two (but not more than two) homes, you can receive help for both homes for as long as necessary where:

  • you had to leave your home, and remain absent from it, through fear of violence
  • you are a member of a couple and you or your partner are a student or are on a training course and it is unavoidable that you live in two separate homes
  • you have moved into a new home, and you have unavoidable housing costs for both your old and new homes - you can receive help with those costs for up to four benefit weeks only

Newly purchased property

If you have sold your previous home and will be mortgaging your new property full details should be supplied relating to:

  • the proceeds received from the sale of your old property
  • the mortgage agreement for your new property and details of the income on which the mortgage was allowed

Before deciding to purchase another property you should seek advice from your benefit paying office because of changes to the legislation covering help with housing costs for owner-occupiers.

Housing Costs

You will not usually have housing costs included in your Income Support / Jobseeker's Allowance (Income based) / Employment and Support Allowance (Income Related) for the first 13 weeks of your claim.

If you have a partner who has reached or is over the age they can claim Pension Credit you may receive help with mortgage costs from the outset of your claim to Income Support / Jobseeker's Allowance (Income based) / Employment and Support Allowance (Income Related).

If your mortgage was taken out before 2 October 1995, and you claim Income Support / Jobseeker's Allowance (Income based) / Employment and Support Allowance (Income Related), you will not have housing costs included in your Income Support / Jobseeker's Allowance (Income based) / Employment and Support Allowance (Income Related) for the first eight weeks. You will then receive 50 per cent of your eligible housing costs for 18 weeks and 100 per cent of your eligible housing costs from the 27th week of your claim. This will also apply to you if you take out a mortgage on or after 2 October 1995 and are carers who are not required to be available for employment, in custody pending trial or sentence, have been refused payment under a mortgage payment protection policy because of a pre-existing medical condition or HIV, or lone parents who have claimed due to the death of, or being abandoned by, a partner, and where the assessment unit includes a child.

Temporary change of address

Respite care

Respite care is when you and/or your partner are admitted to a care home because you need to be looked after, for a short period of time, while your normal carer is unable to look after you.

In the event of a move into respite care you should contact your benefit paying office immediately to advise of the address of the care home and period of your intended stay.

Holiday

Absence in Great Britain

If you and/or your partner are going on holiday in Great Britain you may be entitled to Income Support / Jobseeker's Allowance (Income based) / Employment and Support Allowance (Income Related) for a maximum of four weeks after leaving Northern Ireland.

Absence less than four weeks

If the absence will be for four weeks or less, then payment will continue to be made into your account, as long as your entitlement continues.

Absence more than four weeks

If the absence is for more than four weeks, or the duration is uncertain, payment will continue until you leave Northern Ireland and will then cease. You should reclaim on your return to Northern Ireland. Payment for the first four weeks outside Northern Ireland will be considered.

Going Abroad

Further information is available on holidays abroad and their effect on benefits.