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HMRC internal manual

Claimant Compliance Manual

Examinations: Information: Change of Circumstance (CoC) received whilst there is an on-going examination

Claimants will sometimes notify a Change of Circumstance (CoC) while you are examining their claim. Where there is an open examination, the TCO or Contact Centre will not process the CoC, but will refer it to you for advice.

The factors you should take into account in deciding whether processing should continue will depend on the nature of the change, and will include:

  • the effect on the award

Not all changes will increase the amount of the award, and some will not affect it at all. For example, the claimant may simply have notified a change of child care provider but the amount paid has not changed. You should not normally hold up processing of the CoC in these circumstances.

  • whether the change appears to be connected with the risks you are examining

For example, if no risks have been identified around the children included in the claim, and the claimant(s) notifies the birth of another child, you should normally allow the CoC to be processed. But if your examination is focused on the hours worked, and the claimant notifies a change in their hours, you may consider that it is appropriate to hold up processing of the CoC.

Whatever you decide, you should bring the CoC into your existing examination, enlarging the scope of the examination if necessary to include any additional considerations.