Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

This is where you will find answers to the most frequently asked questions about your rights to benefits in the United Kingdom.

The Rights to Benefits website is still in its infancy. So, as we develop new pages we will also update this FAQ section.

How are Benefits Paid and When?

The UK Government does not pay out benefits, pensions, or child maintenance payments in cash. They prefer (insist) that benefits should go into a secure bank or building Society account or a Credit Union account.

Following that, you will then be able to collect your benefit payments in cash from one of these accounts.

Most, but not all, of the payments for welfare benefits occur on a four week basis (28 days between them). Thus, the payment date will change each month – especially if it falls on a bank holiday.

Note: There will be some disruption to benefit payment during the major holiday periods in Great Britain (e.g. Christmas, New Year, and Easter).

What Benefits Can I Claim (my entitlement)?

In fact, a wide range of circumstances will determine your rights to claim benefits. Even so, there are many common factors built into the benefits system.

It certainly seems that Universal Credit will replace many that currently exist in the list of benefits you can claim. Updates will follow accordingly.

Many of the newest benefits are health-related and they influence what kind of questions we get asked. That said, frequently asked questions about employment and unemployment benefits are also on the increase.

How to Contact Jobcentre Plus?

The Jobcentre Plus office deals with enquiries about new benefit claims and existing claims. So, how do you change or cancel an appointment?

In fact, the easiest way to contact your local Jobcentre Plus branch is through an online search using your home postcode.

How Do Benefits Calculators Work?

Benefits calculators can help to ensure you don’t miss out on financial aid. Because, performing a simple benefits check highlights exactly what kind of welfare support you can claim.

So, once you know how benefits calculators work, you can use them to work out what assistance and social security you’re entitled to.

Note: We base this help guide on actual searches made in the Google UK search database. Even so, you should also make us of the Government benefits calculators available on the GOV.UK website.

What Happens to Benefits When in Hospital?

The information in the guide explains what you should do if you go into hospital while you are getting social security benefits.

If you will be hospitalised, even for only one night, the office that pays your benefit needs to know about it as soon as possible.

How Do I Get a Prescription Prepayment Certificate?

Buying prescription prepayment certificates (PPCs) from the NHS Business Services Authority usually saves you money.

Once you know how to get a prescription prepayment certificate it will be cheaper if you need to buy unlimited prescriptions.

What Happens to Benefits if You Go to Prison?

The section explains what happens to your benefits while in prison or on remand in the United Kingdom. Check what to do if someone in your family (e.g. your partner or child) ends up serving a prison sentence.

How Do You Challenge a Benefits Decision?

What does it mean ‘asking for DWP mandatory reconsideration’? In simple terms, it means you disagree with a decision made about your claim for benefits, child maintenance, or tax credits.

Hence, it is the official and correct way of asking one of the government departments to look at your case again and to ‘reconsider’ or ‘review’ whether the decision they made is correct.

What is the Payment Exception Service?

The Payment Exception Service is for benefit claimants who do not have access to a bank or building society account (including credit union or Post Office card account).

How Can I be Appointee for Someone Claiming Benefits?

An appointee has the legal right to deal with a benefits claim on behalf of the claimant. In the first instance, you should apply to become an appointee for someone claiming benefits by telephone (depending on the actual benefit being claimed).

What is Benefit Overpayment?

The phrase ‘benefit overpayment‘ is used a lot by claimants (e.g. if they get overpaid) and by various government departments.

Find out how overpayments happen, what responsibilities you have, and how to make a repayment to DWP Debt Management.

How to Get an Advance on Your First Benefit Payment?

Are you a benefits claimant in financial need (e.g. cannot afford to wait for the first installment)? If so, you may qualify for an advance on your first benefit payment.

The advance benefit payment is for people who have already made a first time application, but are struggling to wait for the first payment.

What is a DWP Compliance Officer Home Visit?

A DWP home visit to check your benefit payment can be a little unnerving. You should also know how to check whether the visitor is bona fide (genuine or not).

The help guide explains what happens during a home visit by staff members at the Performance Measurement team of the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).

How to Get a Support Visit for a Benefit Claim?

In some cases, Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) officers can provide support visits to claimants who need some help to claim their benefits.

The help guide explains how to get assistance from the DWP Visiting Team and what will happen when they contact you (e.g. at your home).

How to Report a Change in Circumstances?

People who claim welfare benefits need to report a change in circumstances – if and when it happens. In fact, reporting changes in your circumstances is the best way to ensure you keep getting the correct amount of benefits.

How Do I Qualify for a Blue Badge?

Do you have a disability or health condition? If so, you may qualify for the disabled parking badge, allowing you to park closer to your destination.

The full guide explains who can get a blue badge automatically in England, Scotland, and Wales, and how the process differs in Northern Ireland.