Bolton Council is taking part in a new initiative seeking to ensure that the right amount of housing benefit is being paid to each claimant.
The council has joined up with nine other local authorities including Rochdale, Manchester, Warrington and St Helens, to urge residents receiving housing benefit to report any changes to their income or to their household as soon as possible.
If residents fail to tell the council promptly about their changes, this can cause them to be overpaid. This is against the law and residents may then face prosecution.
Where councils are unable to recover overpayments of housing benefit, this will mean a loss of income to the council. This has a negative impact on the community, as the money lost could have been spent on providing other community services.
Examples of changes in resident’s circumstances could be a change to their income or someone else’s income who is living with them, a new job, if they have a baby, if another person starts living in their home or they move house. Any change in their circumstances may affect the amount of housing benefit they are entitled to.
Residents can inform the council about a change in their circumstances by contacting us via the council website at www.bolton.gov.uk/website/pages/Housingbenefit.aspx or by phone on 01204 331590.
Councillor Cliff Morris, Leader of Bolton Council said: “We’re asking residents to make sure that they keep us up-to-date with their circumstances, to help the council to ensure the right amount of housing benefit is being paid to them.
“By doing this, they will help the council save money, which can then be used on other services in Bolton.”