Essential DWP travel guidelines for benefit claimants planning holidays this year

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

Those receiving benefits are being reminded of several key rules from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) that they must adhere to if they plan on taking a holiday. These regulations affect millions, including those on universal credit and personal independence payments (PIP), reports Wales Online.

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.

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.

It's crucial for those claiming universal credit to provide evidence of job-seeking activities such as job applications. In extreme cases, claimants may be required to return to the UK for a job interview or to start work.

To report any changes in circumstances, individuals can contact the universal credit helpline at 0800 328 5644.

PIP travel and holiday rules

PIP recipients must inform the relevant authorities about any trips outside the country. The latest advice for those on PIP states: "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."

A trip abroad lasting more than four weeks, even for a holiday, could impact the amount of PIP one receives. Claimants are urged to promptly inform the DWP of any life changes that could influence their benefits, as the guidance states: "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."

"Based on these changes their benefit may go up, go down, stay the same or it may stop. If the claimant is overpaid, they will normally have to repay the money. Failure to tell DWP about any of these changes may result in prosecution."

"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."