DWP warning for benefit claimants going on holiday and what you need to know

Those on benefits need to follow certain rules when on holiday
-Credit: (Image: PA)

Benefit recipients are being reminded of several crucial rules from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) that they must follow if they plan on taking a holiday. These regulations affect millions, including those on universal credit and personal independence payments (PIP).

The guidelines state that if you're planning a longer break, you may need to notify the DWP. In some cases, you might be required to continue your job search while abroad and if you're waiting for certain claims to be processed, you might have to avoid travelling overseas.

As the holiday season approaches, it's vital to know which rules apply to you based on the duration of your trip and the benefits you receive.

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Universal Credit travel and holiday rules

Universal Credit recipients should be aware of specific travel and holiday rules. The government stipulates that any changes in your circumstances must be reported to ensure you continue receiving the correct amount of universal credit, reports Cambridgeshire Live.

Failure to do so could lead to overpayment, which you would then be obligated to repay. If you're submitting a new claim for universal credit, you must be in the UK on the day of submission.

Universal credit claimants can typically travel abroad on the same day or return from a holiday earlier that day. They are permitted to go on holiday for up to one month, but they must adhere to the conditions of the claimant commitment agreed upon when first applying for universal credit.

Those on universal credit must submit proof of job-hunting activities like submitting job applications. If necessary, claimants could even be asked to fly back to the UK for job interviews or work commencement.

For updates or changes in their situation, people can get in touch with the universal credit support line at 0800 328 5644.

As for PIP (Personal Independence Payment), holidaymakers are required to notify the authorities about any travel plans. The latest guidance for PIP claimants reads: "We will need to know the date the claimant is leaving the country, how long they are planning to be out of the country, which country they are going to and why they are going abroad."

It's critical to be aware that being overseas for over four weeks could affect PIP payments. Claimants should swiftly advise the DWP about any changes in their life that might affect their benefits.

The current advice emphasises: "We need to know if the claimant's condition, the amount of help they need or their circumstances change. This is because it may change how much PIP they can get. It is important the claimant tells DWP straight away about any changes in their life that could affect their benefit."

The guidelines suggest that these updates could potentially raise, lower, maintain or stop the benefits received. Overpayment usually has to be reimbursed, and neglecting to inform the DWP of any relevant changes might lead to legal consequences.

"A temporary absence abroad for up to 13 weeks may be allowed, or up to 26 weeks if the absence is specifically for medical treatment. The claimant should notify us if they are planning to go abroad for four weeks or more."