The benefits system is there to support you in the bleak times. Getting involved with it, though, does carry significant obligations, and involves a degree of government intrusiveness into your private life which you may find unpalatable.
Obligations When Receiving Jobseeker’s Allowance
If you claim your benefit entitlements because you are unemployed and looking for work, your most basic obligation will be to sign on at the Jobcentre every two weeks. You will also have to demonstrate that you are actively looking for work by keeping a record of what you do to find work and presenting it to the Jobcentre staff whenever asked. This record might include such things as notes you made about how you visited a job search website, sent off an application or received a letter inviting you to an interview.
When you are receiving benefits, you have a duty to report significant changes in your personal circumstances which might affect your eligibility. Most obviously this would normally include starting a new job, starting a training course or doing anything which might mean that you were not available to do 40 hours of work per week.
If, for some reason, you are temporarily unavailable to work at all, you should also let the Benefits Agency know. Circumstances where this might be appropriate would, for example, include : going away from home, even for one day; spending time caring for a sick relative; or even periods of illness you experience yourself. If you go on holiday, you need to tell the Jobcentre. You are allowed two weeks’ holiday within the UK once in a 12-month period while still retaining your benefit, but you must fill out special forms for this. If you go on holiday abroad, your benefit will be terminated, and you will have to make a new claim for it once you return.
Obligations When Receiving Other Benefits
If your financial circumstances change significantly after you have made your application for benefits, you are required to let the agency staff know. For example, if you come into some money because your relative dies and leaves you an inheritance or you win the lottery, for example, you need to indicate that. For most benefits, the levels of savings you have can affect the amount of benefit support you get and can even mean that you won’t get any at all.
For some benefits, for example Tax Credit benefits, it matters whether you are single or in a partnership with someone else. You may even be required to apply for the benefit as a couple. If later there are changes in your personal life, meaning that new relationships form or old ones break up, you will need to keep the government informed as it may affect your eligibility to go on receiving the benefits.
Depending on the benefit you receive, the government may also have to be notified about other changes in your household, for example if your children leave home, start work or begin claiming a benefit for themselves as adults.
Failing to report significant changes to the benefits agency in a timely fashion can mean that you receive more money than you should have done. You may be required to pay it back in future. In some cases, you can even be fined several hundred pounds.
Obligations When Receiving Benefits – Conclusion
Benefits are your entitlements, and are there to help you through difficult times. It’s important to understand, though, that the help you receive does bring some obligations with it.
Am on ESA and just came into my divorce settlement, my rent is also paid for me. Was wondering what details would be asked for when I let the benifets office know. I have the bank transaction to say money was put into my account would this be enough. Thank you
Annie - 18-Oct-20 @ 12:50 PM
HI my friend is about to receive 20000 in inheritance will this effect the universal credit she is on ?
sloth - 18-May-19 @ 2:48 AM
Hello,ive just taken voluntary redundancy and have been awarded just over £8,000 how does this effect my child tax and working tax credits? I don't get my redundancy money through until the end of the month which is another 3 weeks away,do I tell Tax credits now or when my money comes through? Also I will be setting up my own plumbing/maintenance business up which I ll need as much finance help as I can,thankyou for your time I look forward to your reply,kind regards Richard.
nicknack - 12-Feb-18 @ 11:49 AM
Tractor- Your Question:
Can someone who's unemployed receive money from inheritance ?
Yes, they can. However, depending upon the amount they receive, it could affect their benefits if the amount equates to or is over £16,000, please see link here.
RedundancyExpert - 2-Feb-18 @ 2:37 PM
Can someone who's unemployed receive money from inheritance ?
Tractor - 31-Jan-18 @ 6:25 AM
If someone receiving benefits is working P/T but not being paid how does this affect their claim?
???? - 3-Oct-17 @ 4:02 PM
iv got |£15565 savi ngs will i have to pay full council tax and rent
crystal - 12-Sep-17 @ 8:20 PM
I've got to show housing benefits my last four bank statements but they show alot of PayPal transactions for online bingo, never any incomings just outgoings. Can they stop my benefits? I'm so worried.
Kerrie - 2-Sep-16 @ 1:26 PM
Shell - Your Question:
Hi , just worried , have just had a visit from local council officer?? ( currently in receipt of housing benefit and ESA ( income related) having just moved into a newer rental property , Wanting to know how I basically fund the extra rent per month , gone from a house of £500 to £800 monthly , I told them yes can see why your asking but long story short here my mother pays the extra £500 per month to contribute towards the rent and bills ( my father passed away 6 yrs previously. My brother had a lump sum of £25000 I chose to have a certain amount paid to me monthly , they are now trying to say something along the lines of "deprivation of income" ???? What's that all about ? Worried I may have done something wrong , but even an extra £500 monthly equates to £6000 yearly anyway? Can someone enlighten me please
If it is seen that you have either given away income or capital, or possibly sidelined capital in order to be able to make an application for benefits, then this is called deprivation of disposable capital. If your father left you money in a Will and you have not taken it, then the local council may take this amount of money into consideration when assessing your eligibility for means-tested benefits.
RedundancyExpert - 22-Mar-16 @ 11:41 AM
hi , just worried , have just had a visit from local council officer?? ( currently in receipt of housing benefit and ESA ( income related) having just moved into a newer rental property , Wanting to know how I basically fund the extra rent per month , gone from a house of £500 to £800 monthly , I told them yes can see why your asking but long story short here my mother pays the extra £500 per month to contribute towards the rent and bills ( my father passed away 6 yrs previously. My brother had a lump sum of £25000 I chose to have a certain amount paid to me monthly , they are now trying to say something along the lines of "deprivation of income" ???? What's that all about ? Worried I may have done something wrong , but even an extra £500 monthly equates to £6000 yearly anyway? Can someone enlighten me please
Shell - 21-Mar-16 @ 3:15 PM
@toby - it could be classed as savings, if you were claiming benefits. It therefore could also affect your benefit entitlement if it pushed you over the ceiling (depending on what benefits you are in receipt of). I have incuded a link to what happens if you don't pay your income tax arrears via the CBS linkhere.I hope this helps.
RedundancyExpert - 19-May-15 @ 11:49 AM
Is a demand for unpaid income tax deductible from my savings
toby - 15-May-15 @ 2:35 PM
Does excess savings affect coiuncil tax benefit
toby - 15-May-15 @ 2:25 PM
Does £2000.00 left to my wife in a will count as savings
toby - 15-May-15 @ 2:21 PM
@Bert - I'm going to have to say that you should contact your benefits agency and run this by them. This is due to the fact that there may be other factors that may be taken into consideration regarding your personal circumstances such as whether you are living with someone etc. Should you acquire this amount of money, you will have to let the agencies in question know about your change in circumstances anyway, as yes, it could possibly affect your benefits.
RedundancyExpert - 28-Apr-15 @ 10:57 AM
Someone disabled on long-term benefit getting mortgage interest relief paid and never getting capital portion of mortgage reduced and in danger of reaching mortgage term and losing house. Then a sudden lump sum comes their way eg. £50k inheritance or gambling win. This amount equates to capital owing on mortgage.If mortgage was paid off same day as lump sum was received, would (apart from cessation of mortgage interedt payments direct to mortgagor) rest of benefits remain in place?
Bert - 25-Apr-15 @ 12:13 PM
Hi, I am selling my house, currently, I get PIP/DLA and ESA. I know I'm entitled to keep the PIP/DLA but believe when I make money from the sale of my house/move in with relatives that I'll lose ALL the ESA. I ask this because I know I'd lose the old 'Income Support' component of ESA, but wondered, like the PIP/DLA if I'd lose the 'old' 'Incapacity Benefit' part of it (as I sort of think, that part is akin to DLA/PIP in its 'care provision' purpose). Thank you for any help on this (I will have above £16, 000 in savings and I know that's the threshold).
Davey - 24-Mar-15 @ 8:10 PM
@mads - is the flat/housing benefit in her name only, or is it in both their names? I would speak to the Citizens Advice, as the housing may want to know about changes regarding partners living with her and the extra money will make a difference.
Suze - 3-Mar-15 @ 10:24 AM
my mother is paying back overpaments of housing benefits from her pension, however her partner is due to receive a pension lump sum and is concerned about the government recovering her debt from his pension, can this happen?
mads - 27-Feb-15 @ 4:49 PM
One of your articles says that, unless you pay debts/bills immediately with your redundancy, it may mean that you lose some benefit.My Husband has recently (10th May 2013), been made redundant.His employer took voluntary liquidation and, according to the liquidator's statement, my husband is owed £10,600.00.This is made up of notice pay, holiday pay and redundancy entitlement.He won't get any from the company because there ar'n't any assets left.So, how much, if anything,will he get in statutary redundancy pay?Because my Husband was 64 just after his redundancy, the DWP offered him his pension plus pension credits.Through no fault of my own, I don't work.At 60, no one will employ me.Believe me, I have tried.Our meagre savings add up to about £2,000.00.If we get anything, can we pay off a small loan and/or some of our mortgage (about £10,000.00 left).?or will we be expected to live on it? My VW polo has been flashing at me for some time, telling me that a service is overdue.Have you seen the cost of VW parts?HELP!!Also, we need a new bed.Thanking you in anticipation.By the way, we've got nothing in the way of pension savings;low wages and periods of unemployment don't make it easy to save when you've never had much anyway.
dolly - 16-Jun-13 @ 4:29 PM
how much is a man of 77 years of age allowed to have in the bank before his benefits are affected.