What to do if your universal credit reduces or stops

Contact the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) right away if your universal credit isn't paid.

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

Contact them again if you don't get a response.

Reduced payments

Your universal credit payment may be less because the DWP is taking money to repay something, for example a:

  • hardship payment

  • benefit overpayment

  • advance or budgeting advance

Money may also be going out to repay other debts, for example:

  • rent arrears

  • energy bills

  • council tax

  • water

There are things you can do if you are struggling because your money is cut.

Suspended payments

Your payments can be stopped for the time being while the DWP looks into a change in your situation.

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

You may be asked to provide:

  • a birth certificate

  • proof of your address

  • more medical information

  • more financial information

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

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

When payments should restart

Your payments may be recalculated when the DWP has looked into your situation.

If your payments change, this usually happens at the start of the monthly assessment period in which you reported the change.

Complain about a stopped, reduced or suspended 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 can challenge the decision if you think your payment amounts are wrong.

Still need help?

If you want to challenge a universal credit decision contact Citizens Advice.


Last updated: 28 February 2022

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