Universal Credit payments could be stopped if you fail to report this change | Personal Finance

It may be that a person is able to receive Universal Credit if they are on a low income or they are out of work. The benefits system is replacing six legacy benefits, although the roll out of this has seen delays.

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Currently, new claimants and legacy benefits recipients who have had a change in circumstances are required to claim Universal Credit – rather than legacy benefits.

A pilot scheme for the movement of existing benefits claimants who have not had any changes in circumstances is currently underway in Harrogate, North Yorkshire.

As part of the system of claiming Universal Credit, the recipient must make an agreement called a “Claimant Commitment” with their work coach.

What they will need to do under this will depend on situation.

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Universal Credit UK sign and person with empty purse

Universal Credit payments could be stopped or reduced – this is known as a sanction (Image: GETTY)

It may be that they need to carry out activities such as writing a CV, looking and apply for jobs, and going on training courses.

The Gov.uk website also says that a person may need to do things such as pay their own rent and other housing costs, and report any changes in their circumstances.

Should a person not meet their responsibilities or do what they’re agreed in the Claimant Commitment, their Universal Credit could be stopped or reduced.

This is what’s known as a sanction.

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In order to keep getting the “right amount” each month, the claimant needs to report any changes they may have to their circumstances.

Failing to report a change of circumstances “straight away” might mean a claim is stopped or reduced.

Gov.uk lists a number of things the changes can include.

Among them is a change of bank details – meaning if these change and a person does not declare it, they could be at risk of a sanction.

Universal Credit UK roll out in map

Universal Credit is replacing six legacy benefits (Image: EXPRESS)


Universal Credit Money Manager tool: how does it work? Universal Credit – changes can include:Finding or finishing a jobHaving a childMoving in with a partnerStarting to care for a child or disabled personMoving to a new addressChanging bank detailsRent going up or downChanges to a health conditionBecoming too ill to work or meet the work coachChanges to earnings (only if one’s self-employed)


It’s possible to report a change of circumstance by signing in to one’s Universal Credit account.

What is Universal Credit replacing?

Universal Credit is replacing the following benefits:

Child Tax CreditHousing BenefitIncome SupportIncome-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)Income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)Working Tax Credit

The government website says that a person who receives any of these benefits does not need to do anything, unless they have a change of circumstances they need to report, or the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) contacts them about moving to Universal Credit.