Universal credit: How to deal with changes

How to report changes

You must report any changes that could affect your universal credit entitlement as soon as you can after the change occurs:

Report changes through your universal credit online account

Supporting evidence

You may be asked for further information or evidence. You should be told when and how to provide this, for example:

  • online
  • by taking documents into Jobcentre Plus

Your universal credit payments can be suspended or stopped if you don't provide the evidence required.

You must be given at least 14 days to provide the evidence. If the required information can't be provided within the timescale or doesn't exist you should explain why.

When a change takes effect 

Your universal credit payment is calculated over a monthly assessment period. 

Changes usually take effect from the start of the assessment period in which they happen. Report them as soon as you can. 

If you report a change late, you might: 

  • lose out on money you were entitled to - if your universal credit goes up
  • have to pay money back - if your universal credit goes down  

Example: Your assessment period runs from 12 November to 11 December. You have your first child on 10 December. Report this immediately and you'll be entitled to a child element from 12 November.  

But if you delay and report the birth on 15 December, you only get the child element from 12 December and could be up to £231.67 worse off.

Last updated 30 Nov 2018 | © Shelter

If you need to talk to someone, we’ll do our best to help

Get help

Get the government to build more social housing

You have the power to make sure they provide affordable housing for all those who need it

Sign the petition Sign the petition

Email a link to this article

Thank you - your message has been sent.

Sorry! - your message has not been sent this time.

Was this advice helpful?

Thank you - your feedback has been submitted to the team.

Sorry! - your message has not been sent this time.