Notifying changes of circumstances

The rules for notifying changes of circumstances in universal credit are set out in the Universal Credit, Personal Independence Payment, Jobseeker’s Allowance and Employment and Support Allowance (Claims and Payments) Regulations 2013 (SI.No.380/2013).

For the rules on decision making in relation to changes of circumstances, see Supersessions.

NB: See below for equivalent legislation in Northern Ireland.

Notifying a change in circumstances

Regulation 38 of SI.No.380/2013

Requires claimants to notify changes of circumstances that might affect benefits entitlement ‘as soon as reasonably practicable’ after the change and sets out the rules on how changes should be communicated.

Alternative means of notifying change of circumstances relating to a birth or death

Regulation 39 of SI.No.380/2013

Provides for notification of births and deaths through personal attendance at local authority office agreed by Secretary of State and for deaths to be notified by telephone to the number specified by Secretary of State.

Notification in cases of benefit offences relating to failure to notify change of circumstances

Regulation 44 of SI.No.380/2013

Provides, in cases of benefit offences relating to failure to notify change of circumstances for the purposes of sections 111A and 112 of the Administration Act 1992, that notification must be given to Secretary of State, and sets out rules for how notification must be made.

In Northern Ireland, SR.No.220/2016 makes provision in relation to payments that is largely equivalent to that in Great Britain.

Further explanation of the legislation is set out in guidance. Please note, however, guidance is not binding and cannot override the legislation.

Advice for decision making

Chapter A4

Includes guidance (at paras A4150 to A4158) on notification by claimants of a change of circumstances.

DWP guidance on

Evidence verification

​Includes guidance to DWP staff on evidence requirements for changes of circumstances.

Case law​ provides further interpretation of the legislation and establishes legal precedent.

We’re not aware of any case law relating to this issue.