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Reduce housing benefit ex officio (without application)

Your entitlement to housing benefit could be reduced if, during the period of the housing benefit approval, not only temporarily, i.e. for more than 4 months,

  • your total income has increased by more than 15 percent,
  • your rent or the burden on residential property (excluding heating costs) is more than 15 percent lower, or
  • the number of household members has decreased.

In the event of a rent reduction or lower burden on residential property or an increase in total income, there may also be a reclaim if these changes are not only temporary, i.e. last longer than 4 months.

Process flow

The authority will examine ex officio and send you a decision.

Who should I contact?

To your locally responsible housing benefit authority


  • Their total income must have increased by more than 15 percent, or
  • The number of your household members to be taken into account has been reduced by at least one person, or
  • Your rent or your burden on home ownership (excluding heating costs) has decreased by more than 15 percent and
  • The changes are not just temporary, so they will last longer than 4 months

Which documents are required?

If you decide ex officio (without an application), the housing benefit office can request documents from you if they are required for the decision.

What are the fees?

Fee: free of charge

What deadlines do I have to pay attention to?

A new decision by your authority ex officio must be made within one year after your housing benefit authority has become aware of the change in your circumstances.

What else should I know?

They are obliged to notify the housing benefit authority immediately of any changes that may lead to a reduction in housing benefit. In order to avoid or detect the unlawful use of housing benefit, the housing benefit authority regularly checks the household members by means of a data comparison – also in automated form – in particular with the pension insurance data office.

For example, it is compared,

  • whether citizen's allowance (formerly unemployment benefit II) is paid while receiving housing benefit,
  • whether there is employment subject to compulsory insurance or marginal employment,
  • or the amount of investment income for which an exemption order has been issued.

It is also possible to compare with the registration authority on registration addresses, housing status and time of re-registration.

In addition, there is the possibility of retrieving accounts at the Federal Central Tax Office.

Suspected cases of fraud are generally reported to the public prosecutor's office.

Through these checks, the housing benefit authority can determine, for example:

  • whether housing benefit is received more than once,
  • whether transfer benefits leading to exclusion from housing benefit are received at the same time,
  • whether correct information in the housing benefit application
    • to income from employment,
    • income from one or more pensions,
    • have been made into income from investment income (interest or dividends),
  • whether the payment of unemployment benefits has been discontinued in the event of original unemployment (for example, due to the taking up of a new job) and
  • whether the original apartment for which housing benefit was paid is actually still in use.

The review is permissible until the expiry of ten years after the announcement of the corresponding housing benefit approval.

Technically approved by

Lower Saxony Ministry of Economic Affairs, Transport, Building and Digitalisation


The text was automatically translated based on the German content.

Source: Serviceportal Niedersachsen (Portalverbund des Bundes und der Länder)