What changes in circumstances trigger a claim for Universal Credit? Benefits

Are you wondering how recent changes to your circumstances may affect your Universal Credit or other benefits? Let Building Better Opportunities explain all that you need to know to ensure that you get the correct payments.

Why do I need to inform the government?

If you’re already on Universal Credit, it’s important that you keep the government informed of any changes in your circumstances so that you receive the right payments. It’s your responsibility to keep them informed. If you don’t, or you give the wrong information, you could be taken to court or fined.

It may be that you’re on an old benefit that has since been replaced by Universal Credit. Although you may still be receiving the old benefit, a change in circumstances could mean that you’re expected to make a new claim for Universal Credit. Benefits that have since been replaced by Universal Credit include the following:

  • Child Tax Benefit
  • Housing Benefit
  • Income Support
  • Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
  • Working Tax Credit

What warrants a change in circumstances?

There are a wide variety of changes that you need to report. These changes can include any of the following:

  • Finding or finishing a job
  • Having a child
  • Moving in with your partner
  • Starting to care for a child or disabled person
  • Changing your mobile number or email address
  • Moving to a new address
  • Changing your bank details
  • Your rent going up or down
  • Changes to your health condition
  • Becoming too ill to work or meet your work coach
  • Changes to your earnings (only if you’re self employed)

A few of these points can be explored in more depth. For example, getting a new job or increasing how many hours you work could affect how much you receive in your Universal Credit payments. Speaking to a work coach or using the government’s benefits calculator can help you to work out the effects.

If your health condition deteriorates to the point that you’re terminally ill, you may receive extra money. You will need to report whether your life expectancy is more or less than six months through your online account. If that’s not possible, you can get someone else to do this on your behalf by requesting a filled in DS1500 form to be sent to the Department for Work and Pensions from your doctors.

How Building Better Opportunities can help

Here at Building Better Opportunities, we understand how important it is to make sure that you’re getting everything that you’re entitled to. We’re dedicated to supporting individuals, couples and families across Stafford and South Staffordshire with their finances, employment status, health and wellbeing.

If you have any questions regarding Universal Credit, or other benefits, please contact us. One of our expert and friendly team members will be happy to help. If you’re interested in finding out more about our other services, browse our website or find your nearest Work Club.