Change in Circumstances – Affect on your DWP Benefits

Focus on Disability - For Disabled People, the Elderly and their Carers in the UK

Report any changes in your personal circumstances as it may affect your Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) disability benefits, ESA, PIP, income support and council tax benefit and housing benefit.

Changes you need to report

You must report any change in your circumstances to your local benefit office (DWP) and council as soon as it happens, whether or not you think the change is directly related to your benefits.

Some examples of the changes you need to report include:

  • getting married, entering into a civil partnership or moving in with a partner
  • moving house
  • getting a new job
  • getting a pay rise
  • inheriting or unexpectedly coming into money
  • taking in a lodger
  • no longer being sick or ill
  • travelling or moving abroad

How changes may affect your benefits

Sometimes a change in your circumstances may mean that your benefit rate will change, or that you become entitled to an additional or a different benefit. For example, if you’re a lone parent getting Housing Benefit and you decide to look for work, you may be entitled to Jobseeker’s Allowance as well.

Other changes in your circumstances, for example getting a pay rise, may mean you no longer qualify for a benefit or will get a reduced amount.

Benefit fraud

If you deliberately fail to report a change in your personal circumstances you are treated as having committed benefit fraud. If you’re prosecuted for benefit fraud you could be fined or get a prison sentence.

See ‘What happens if you’re suspected of benefit fraud?’ for the rules about loss of benefit entitlement following a benefit fraud offence.

Other times your benefits may change

Sometimes your benefits may change even when your circumstances remain the same. For example, the government increases most benefit payments to make sure they keep in line with inflation each year. You’ll be told of any changes that affect the amount of money you get.

Reporting changes

You can report a change in your circumstances or find out how your benefits might change, by contacting your local benefit office.

More information