People could miss out on benefit payments following a hospital stay this winter.
The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has warned that it may stop paying out certain benefits to claimants who have not reported a that they have been in hospital. More than 20 million people across Great Britain are claiming benefits or State Pension, the Daily Record reports.
However, there are several reasons something may affect someone's benefit claim, including if you go into hospital. Failing to inform the right department may result in payments being stopped or reduced.
The DWP has provided guidance on the GOV.UK website on what claimants need to do if they are admitted to hospital and will miss a Jobcentre Plus appointment. They wrote: "Your claim might be stopped or reduced if you do not report a hospital stay."
Here is everything you need to know:
DWP guidance states you must tell the office that pays your benefit as soon as possible if you go into hospital for one night or longer, go into a care home or rehabilitation centre for one night or longer or will miss a Jobcentre Plus appointment because you’re in hospital or have a medical appointment
However, if you are unable to contact the relevant department yourself, DWP says a friend or relative can call them for you.
What you need to tell DWP
You will need to give your:
date of birth
National Insurance number
partner’s details - if they are on your claim
And if you’re calling on behalf of a friend or relative, you need to give your name and contact details too.
What happens if I go into hospital?
You need to give details about your stay in hospital, including:
the exact date you went into hospital
the exact date you left hospital - if you have left
the name of the hospital you were in
the name of the ward you were on - if you know it
if you moved between hospitals
any other hospital stays in the last 28 days
where you were discharged to, for example your home or a care home
DWP guidance states: “Who you tell depends on which benefits you get. You might need to report your change to more than one organisation if you get more than one benefit.”
Report a hospital stay of 24 hours or longer using your Universal Credit online account or contact the Universal Credit helpline.
Call the Pension Service helpline if you get one or more of:
Attendance Allowance - call the Attendance Allowance helpline if you only get Attendance Allowance
Call the Disability Service Centre if you get:
Disability Living Allowance (DLA)
Personal Independence Payment (PIP)
Low or no income benefits
Call Jobcentre Plus if you get:
Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)
Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
Housing Benefit - you also need to tell your local council about a hospital stay if you claim Housing Benefit.
Tell the Child Benefit Office if your child goes into hospital or ‘residential care’ for more than 12 weeks.
Call the helpline for each benefit to report a hospital stay if you get:
Full details of the numbers to call can be found on the GOV.UK website here.
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