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Change in circumstances


To protect the security of your personal details, you must have a valid email account in order to report a change in your circumstances. It's important that this email address belongs to you. When you need to report a change in your circumstances, you'll be sent a reference (known as a 'Citizen Access Key') to the email address listed in your current claim. The Citizen Access Key is used to ensure your personal details are secure and can't be accessed by an unauthorised person, which is why the email address you provide must be yours.

Reporting a change

When your claim details have been updated to include your email address, you’ll need to go to your Citizen Access account and look on the 'Account Details' page.

To access the online system, you'll need your claim reference number, which is a 7 digit number starting with a 3, e.g. 3199330. Your claim reference number is shown on the letters you receive about your benefit.

If you don't have a letter about your benefit which shows your claim reference number, please email us at

If you don't have an email address and you are unable to create one, you'll need to report your change in circumstances using an online form.

Adding or checking an email address

If you have a Council Tax account

You’ll need to go to your Revenues and Benefits account and look on the 'Account Details' page.

To access the 'Account Details' page, you'll need your latest Council Tax bill, which will show your account number ('Account No.') and your online key ('E-Service key'). Please make sure the email address shown in your account details is your own personal email address. If it isn't, you'll need to change it to one which is (a guide is available to help you to change your contact details).

If you don't have a Council Tax account

If you don't have a Council Tax account, you'll need to email us at

We'll check your claim to make sure we hold your personal email address. To protect your security, please include a contact number in the email so we can verify the details if we need to.

If you don't have an email account

It's easy to create an email account which you can use to access our online services. Some of the most popular websites to create email addresses are Outlook, Gmail, and Yahoo.  All these websites are safe and free to use.

When you've created an email address you'll need to update your contact details via your Revenues and Benefits account, if you have a Council Tax account, or by emailing us at if you don't have a Council Tax account.

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