Changes you need to tell Universal Credit about
It is important to keep your claim up-to-date and tell Universal Credit about any actions you have taken or changes in your circumstances
Changes you need to report
You need to tell Universal Credit about any changes in your circumstances. If you don’t, your Universal Credit payments may stop or be incorrect.
If you do not report a change:
- you may not get all the money you are entitled to
- you may get more money than you are entitled to, and you would have to pay this back.
If you are not sure whether a change will affect your claim, contact Universal Credit to find out.
Examples of changes include:
- getting a job
- stopping work
- having or caring for a child
- moving home
- changing your bank account
- your rent going up or down
- becoming too ill to work or meet your work coach
- if you and a partner move in together, or stop living together
- reaching State Pension age
This is not a complete list of changes.
How to report a change
You must tell Universal Credit about any changes immediately. You can report changes:
- through your Universal Credit online account. Messages to your online account will be answered as soon as possible during business hours.
- by phoning the Universal Credit Service Centre
- by speaking to your work coach at your local Jobs & Benefits office
You must tell Universal Credit the date the change happened, giving as much information as possible about the change.
All Jobs & Benefits offices are now open for business primarily on an appointment basis. If you arrive without an appointment you will be seen at the Welcome Desk, or an appointment will be arranged for a suitable date and time. You will be asked to observe 1 metre social distancing, where practicable and hand sanitiser, sprays, wipes and face coverings will be available for the voluntary use of staff and visitors.
If you are asked to go to an appointment, it is important that you turn up, as failure to do so may affect your payments.
If you are unable to use the telephony or digital services an urgent appointment can be arranged in your local Jobs & Benefits office. To arrange an appointment contact the Jobs & Benefits office on 0300 200 7822.
You should tell Universal Credit when booking your appointment if you need interpreting support.
Changes to your income
You must report changes to your income:
- if your employer does not take tax from your wage through Pay As You Earn (PAYE) (ask your employer if you’re not sure)
- if you receive income from a private or occupational pension or an annuity (a policy that pays an income)
- if you receive income from self-employed work
You do not need to report:
- changes to your income if your employer takes tax from your wage through PAYE (details of your earnings will be provided directly to Universal Credit).
If you and your partner move in together
If you live with your partner and both of you are eligible to claim Universal Credit, you will receive a single payment that covers both of you, which will include a basic standard allowance payment based on both of your ages and any other amounts you are entitled to, such as for childcare or housing costs.
If your partner is not eligible for Universal Credit, you will get the single rate of the Standard Allowance and any other amounts you are entitled to, such as for childcare or housing costs.
When claiming Universal Credit as a couple, both of you will need to accept a claimant commitment. You will each have your own commitment, and yours may be affected if your partner starts work or their circumstances change.
If either you or your partner are claiming a benefit that is being replaced by Universal Credit and the other partner is receiving Universal Credit, when you move in together the person not currently claiming Universal Credit will need to tell their existing benefit, which will end and they will then have to claim Universal Credit.
If you or your partner are receiving:
- Job Seekers Allowance (income-based),
- Employment and Support Allowance (income-related),
- Income Support
- Housing Benefit
When you move in together, this benefit will continue to be paid for a period of two weeks from the date you claimed Universal Credit. You will not have to pay this back.
If you receive Pension Credit and your partner is under State Pension Age, you will no longer be eligible to receive Pension Credit. Your Pension Credit payments will stop and you should make a claim to Universal Credit.
If your partner no longer lives with you
You must tell Universal Credit about this change of circumstances. Neither you nor your partner will need to make a new claim, and both of you will keep your existing assessment period and payment dates.
You need to take the following steps:
- Log into your Universal Credit account and record details of when your relationship with your partner ended
- Universal Credit will then ask you to complete a new declaration stating:
- where you live
- what costs you incur, including housing costs, childcare and other expenses
- who lives with you
- your bank account details
When you have provided this information your payment will be adjusted and will continue uninterrupted. Your former partner also needs to complete a declaration or their payment may be interrupted.
If your former partner does not log into their account and provide the information needed to make the change to their Universal Credit award, a reminder is sent to your Case Manager.
Your Case Manager will then contact your former partner to advise them that, to continue with their claim, they must now log on to their Universal Credit account and complete a new declaration.
If you have reached State Pension Age, and your ex-partner has not, you will no longer be entitled to Universal Credit and your claim will be closed. You will then need to apply for Pension Credit.
Reaching State Pension Age
When you reach State pension age, you will no longer be entitled to Universal Credit, unless you live with a partner who is under State Pension age.
When you reach State Pension age but the partner you live with is under State Pension age, you may be entitled to a State Pension, but you will not be able to claim Pension Credit or pension age Housing Benefit.
You will be entitled to claim Universal Credit until your partner reaches State Pension age. Any payment of State Pension will be taken into account when your entitlement to Universal Credit is assessed.
- you are State Pension age
- you were living with your current partner
- you got Pension Credit or pension age Housing Benefit before 15 May 2019
you will continue to be entitled to Pension Credit or pension age Housing Benefit.
If you are within 4 months of reaching State Pension age you can make an advanced claim for State Pension. Payments will only start after you reach State Pension age.
Keeping in contact with your work coach
Your work coach will give you advice and support to help you to take the actions agreed in your Commitment.
It is important to keep in touch with your work coach and update them about changes in your circumstances to make sure the actions agreed in your Commitment are still right for you.
You can contact your work coach through your online account, or arrange an interview by phoning the Universal Credit Service Centre.
Any information or questions you send to your work coach through your online account will be stored so that you and they can see what you have agreed.
Help and support
If you would like independent help and advice on Universal Credit, or any of the other welfare changes, you can visit any independent advice office or contact: