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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 a 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 check ex officio and send you a notice.

Who should I contact?

To your local housing allowance authority


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

Which documents are required?

In the case of an ex officio decision (without an application), the housing allowance office can request documents from you if they are needed 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 of your housing benefit authority becoming aware of the change in your circumstances.

What else should I know?

You 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 data centre of the pension insurance.

For example, it is reconciled,

  • whether citizens' allowance (formerly unemployment benefit II) is paid while receiving housing benefit,
  • whether there is a compulsory or marginal employment,
  • or the amount of capital gains 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, it is possible to retrieve an account from 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 the correct information in the housing benefit application
    • income from employment,
    • income from one or more pensions,
    • income from investment income (interest or dividends),
  • whether the payment of unemployment benefit was stopped in the event of initial unemployment (e.g. due to taking up a new job) and
  • whether the original dwelling for which housing benefit was paid is still actually in use.

The review is permissible up to the expiry of ten years after the notification 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.

Data protection information

Landesbeauftragte für den Datenschutz Niedersachsen
Address: Prinzenstraße 5, 30159 Hannover
Telephone: +49 511 12045-00
Fax: +49 511 12045-99

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