DWP summer holiday warning for anyone claiming employment benefit – ignore it and your payments will STOP

PEOPLE claiming employment benefit have been issued a holiday warning if they plan to go away this summer.

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) have a strict set of rules in place when it comes to travelling abroad and its vital you don’t ignore them over the next few months.

People claiming employment benefit must inform the DWP if they are going away


People claiming employment benefit must inform the DWP if they are going awayCredit: Getty

If you’re on Employment and Support Allowance (ESA), it’s important you tell the DWP if you’re going to be in another country if you want to avoid a major setback in your finances.

Failure to inform the DWP of a holiday abroad could see your payments reduced or, worst case scenario, stopped completely.

There could also be a fine of up to £5,000.

This is because your trip abroad could count as a change of circumstance, which can then be classed as benefit fraud.

Therefore, it’s vital you tell the DWP that you’re heading away.

But it’s not all doom and gloom, as those on ESA can travel for up to four weeks and still receive the same benefits.

However, absences longer than four weeks might affect their benefit, particularly if they are in the Work-Related Activity Group, which requires participation in work-focused interviews and activities.

Similar rules also apply for those on Universal Credit.

Failure to inform the DWP of a change in circumstances could see your benefits frozen while your claim is being investigated – and you might even have to go to court.

If you are on Universal Credit, you can stay abroad for one month and carry on receiving payments, given you’ve told your work coach you’re going away and you carry on meeting the conditions of your claim.

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That means if you are in the intensive work group and have to spend a minimum amount of hours per week looking for a job, you have to continue doing this.

There are exceptions to the one-month, however.

If a “close relative” dies while you are abroad, for example, then it is not deemed reasonable for you to return to the UK.

You can also carry on claiming Universal Credit for up to six months if you have gone abroad for medical treatment.

The criteria for going away is different for other benefits, so it’s important you double check the rules surrounding each one to avoid confusion.

You can do this by checking out the government’s website, which has for more details on the rules for each benefit.

How do I report a change of circumstance?

HOW you report a change in circumstances depends on the benefit you are receiving.

If you are claiming Universal Credit, you can record any changes on your online journal or contact the helpline on 0800 328 5644.

You can also get in touch with your local Jobcentre Plus.

Meanwhile, if you receive Personal Independence Payment (PIP), you have to contact the enquiry line on 0800 121 4433.

You can also get someone to call on your behalf, but you’ll need to be with them when they phone up.


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