Holiday Mode? Your Benefits and the DWP: What to Know Before You Go ☀️

Planning a much-needed getaway but worried about your benefits? Don’t stress! We’ve got you covered with all the info you need about the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) rules for holidays, so you can relax and enjoy your time off.

Understanding the Basics

First things first, it’s important to know that the DWP has specific rules depending on which benefits you receive. The two main benefits we’ll cover today are Universal Credit and Personal Independence Payment (PIP). Let’s break down the key points for each.

Universal Credit and Holidays

  • Telling the DWP: Always inform your work coach about your holiday plans, even if it’s just for a few days. You can do this online through your Universal Credit journal, over the phone, or in person.
  • Length of Holiday: Generally, you can go on holiday for up to one month without affecting your Universal Credit. However, if you’re planning a longer trip, or your circumstances change while you’re away (like starting a new job), it’s crucial to let the DWP know.
  • Medical Reasons: If you’re going abroad for medical treatment, you may be able to receive Universal Credit for up to six months. Make sure you have supporting evidence from your doctor.
  • Claimant Commitment: While you’re on holiday, you’ll still need to meet your claimant commitment [invalid URL removed]. This could mean being available for work, actively looking for a job, or attending training courses.
  • Returning Home: The DWP may want to schedule a meeting with you when you return, especially if you’ve been away for an extended period.

Personal Independence Payment (PIP) and Holidays

  • Temporary Absence: With PIP, you can usually go abroad for up to 13 weeks without any issues. However, if your trip is for medical treatment, you may be able to stay away for up to 26 weeks.
  • Letting the DWP Know: Always inform the PIP enquiry line about your travel plans, especially if you’ll be away for more than four weeks. You can reach them at 0800 121 4433.
  • Changes in Needs: If your condition or needs change while you’re away, it’s important to update the DWP. This could affect your PIP payments.

Top Tips for a Stress-Free Holiday

  • Plan Ahead: Start your research early and make sure you know the rules for your specific benefits.
  • Keep in Touch: Stay connected with the DWP while you’re away, especially if your plans change.
  • Enjoy Your Break: Don’t let benefit worries spoil your holiday. By following these tips, you can relax knowing you’ve done everything right.

Your Questions Answered

Have questions or concerns? Don’t hesitate to reach out to Citizens Advice or a local benefits advisor. They can provide personalised guidance based on your situation.

We hope this guide has helped you understand the ins and outs of going on holiday while claiming benefits. Now, go pack your bags and enjoy your well-deserved break!


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