Universal Credit alert as payments may be affected by your summer holiday – check now

The DWP can slash a person’s entitlement to zero if they go abroad on an international trip except for certain reasons. People on who are looking for work are expected to continue looking for work while away on holiday.

They may even be obliged to fly home if they are offered a job or an interview.

Individual claimants can keep getting Universal Credit if they’re going abroad for up to a month, as long as they don’t plan to be away for longer than this period.

This allowance may be extended to two months if the absence is due to the death of a partner, child or close relative who is with the claimant.

People going abroad for medical treatment or accompanying a partner or child who is travelling for treatment are allowed six months.

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Britons making a fresh application for Universal Credit must be in the UK one the day it’s submitted.

Applicants may be able to travel abroad that same day, or have returned from holiday earlier that day, and still be able to apply.

The DWP should be notified by the claimant that they intend to travel abroad before their trip.

A person will be required to stick to the conditions of claimant commitment that they signed up for when applying.

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This will include showing evidence of looking for work, such as a list of jobs that a person has applied for.

Other conditions may include putting a CV together, applying for positions, and attending interviews, even while on holiday.

The DWP said: “Claimants must be prepared to end their absence abroad to attend job interviews or start work.

“We have never asked anyone to come back early but it is a possibility.”

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“If a claimant is in an intensive work search regime, they are expected to spend 35 to 37 hours a week looking for work.”

A claimant can have any number of one month periods away, but once a period abroad exceeds a month, the DWP will be notified and will decide if an extended absence is needed.

If a prolonged absence does not fall under the circumstances for an extension, the assessment period will be reduced to nil.

This means that no Universal Credit will be paid on the next due date.

If this happens, the person’s claim will not be terminated entirely, but there will be no payment for the rest of the period that the person is away.