Housing benefit checks
Tower Hamlets benefits service has a duty to ensure that it pays housing benefit correctly. Benefit claimants have a duty to report any changes in circumstances that could affect the amount of benefit being paid to them.
In order to ensure this we carry out a number of checks to see if the information we hold about claimants circumstances is accurate. We call these checks ‘interventions’.
Whether or not an intervention is carried out on a particular claim is based on the likelihood of there regularly being a change in circumstances affecting that claim. It is not based upon whether the claimant personally is likely to fail to report a change.
For example someone living in a hostel is more likely to move out or change rooms than a council tenant. They are more likely to be asked to take part in a check. Someone getting a wage and working tax credit or child tax credit is more likely to have a change in income than someone getting a long-term benefit such as Income Support. Consequently people who are working may get more than one intervention a year.
What type of benefit checks do we carry out?
We use the following types of interventions to check claim details:
- issuing forms through the post
- visiting claimants at home
- telephoning claimants
It is important that you complete and return any forms that we send to you straight away. If we arrange to visit you and you cannot make the appointment it is important that you tell us and arrange a new visit.. Otherwise your claim may be suspended and even cancelled. If this happens you may lose out and have to make a new claim before payment can start again.
It is quite possible that interventions will be carried out more than once in a year and this might be done through any of the methods mentioned above.
Interventions help to ensure that we are paying you the correct housing benefit and satisfy central government that we are maintaining accurate records and preventing fraud. We must carry out a minimum number each year and will follow through any that we start.
How to contact us
Tower Hamlets operates a centralised benefit claims processing service and a dedicated benefits call centre both based at the Town Hall where all postal, email and telephone enquiries should be directed. Home visits can be arranged if you are housebound and do not have anyone who can help you.
Tower Hamlets Town Hall
160 Whitechapel Road
Telephone: 020 7364 5000
Fax: 020 7364 7048
Report a change in circumstances online.