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What to do if your universal credit reduces or stops

Contact the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) if your universal credit (UC) is not paid.

Leave a message in your UC journal or call the universal credit helpline on 0800 328 5644

Contact them again if they do not respond.

Reduced payments

Your universal credit payment may go down because the DWP takes money to repay something, for example a:

  • hardship payment

  • benefit overpayment

  • advance or budgeting advance

Money might also go out to repay other debts, for example:

  • rent arrears

  • energy bills

  • council tax

  • water

Find out what to do about universal credit deductions for debts.

Suspended payments

Your payments can stop for a time if you report a change in your situation.

For example, if you have a new baby or change your address.

You might have to show:

  • a birth certificate

  • proof of your address

  • more details about any medical conditions

  • proof of your income, for example, if you have a new job

If the DWP asks for information before your payments stop, they must give you at least 2 weeks to give them what they ask for.

Tell the DWP if you cannot get the information they want. For example, if you cannot get older bank statements.

Get a review of a universal credit decision

You can ask the DWP to look at the decision again if you think it is wrong. For example, if you think your payments are the wrong amount.

The DWP call this a 'mandatory reconsideration'.

Citizens Advice have more on how to challenge a universal credit decision.

Complain about a stopped or reduced payment

You can complain about problems with payments.

For example, if:

  • your money stopped without warning

  • the DWP took too long to process your claim

  • you got some of your payment but your housing element was not sorted out and this caused rent arrears

Last updated: 26 March 2024

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