Ensure you're getting the benefits you're entitled to
The Department for Work and Pensions is urging people on benefits to notify it sooner rather than later if their circumstances change. Any benefit paid out wrongly has to be repaid and this could put an extra, and unnecessary, strain on your finances.
Deliberately failing to notify the relevant authorities of changes in personal circumstances amounts to benefit fraud, and the guilty face fines and prison sentences.
But even if you quite innocently fail to inform the authorities, you can expect to pay back any extra money you have received.
"If you're being paid too much, you'll have to pay that money back, which may have a serious impact on your budget," said benefits minister Helen Goodman.
"Telling us as early as possible will help you better manage your finances and avoid the risk of falling into debt,"
Notify the organisation that pays your benefits of any changes. If you're claiming housing benefit or council tax benefit, you need to contact your local council.
If you receive income support, incapacity benefit and/or employment and support allowance, speak to your local Jobcentre Plus office. It can also calculate if you would be better off working or claiming benefit.
|Report any of the below|
|Getting married, entering into a civil partnership or moving in with a partner|
|Finding a new job|
|A pay rise|
|Inheriting or unexpectedly coming into money|
|Taking in a lodger|
|No longer being ill|
|Travelling or moving abroad|