Universal Credit claimants could face court over not reporting a change like new mobile number

Cambridgeshire is one of 15 areas in the UK to be trialling the scheme
-Credit: (Image: Yui Mok/PA)


The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has issued a warning that Universal Credit could be halted for those who do not report 16 specific changes in their circumstances. The DWP currently employs 3,100 full-time equivalent agents to review Universal Credit claims as part of this year's benefit fraud and error reviews.

It has cautioned that providing incorrect information or failing to report changes could result in court action or penalties. The department emphasised: "Changes in your circumstances can affect how much you're paid for your whole assessment period - not just from the date you report them."

These changes include starting or ending a job; having a child; moving in with a partner; beginning to care for a child or disabled person; changing your mobile number; changing your email address; moving to a new address; altering your bank details; fluctuations in your rent; changes to your health condition; and becoming too ill to work or meet your work coach.

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The DWP also listed changes to your earnings for self-employed people, changes to your savings, investments and overall financial status, and changes to immigration status for those who are not British citizens as crucial updates that need to be reported, reports Birmingham Live.

You can report a change of circumstances by signing into your Universal Credit account on GOV. UK. The DWP will be reviewing claims as part of a Universal Credit crackdown amid the ongoing Cost of Living crisis, with fraud team staff combing over claims looking for signs of fraud.

The clampdown comes as the DWP cracks down on PIP too, with a green paper consultation launched.