What Happens to Benefits When in Hospital

The information in this 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.

Typical examples of what you must report to the DWP, include:

  • Spending one (1) night in hospital (or longer).
  • Spending at least one (1) night in a care home or rehabilitation centre.
  • Missing a Jobcentre Plus appointment because of your stay in hospital (or because of attending a medical appointment).
Note: You can have a friend or relative contact the benefits office on your behalf. But, failing to report a hospital stay can result in your claim being reduced or stopped altogether.

Information Needed by the DWP

You would need to tell the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), your:

  • Full name and date of birth
  • National Insurance number (NIno)
  • Partner’s details (if they share your claim)

You would also need to give your own name and contact details if you are making the call on behalf of a friend or a relative.

The DWP would also need some details about your stay in the medical facility. In most cases, you would need to tell them the name of the hospital (and ward), along with:

  • The exact date you went into and left hospital (if applicable).
  • Whether you moved between different hospitals for further treatment.
  • Whether you had any other hospital stays within the previous 28 days.
  • Where they discharged you to (e.g. back to your own home or to a care home).

Reporting to Different Benefit Departments

There are many different kinds of welfare benefits and allowances available for claimants who qualify. Hence, the one that you are getting will determine who you need to tell.

In fact, you may need to report your stay in hospital to several organisations (e.g. if you are getting more than one benefit payment).

Child Benefit

You must inform the Child Benefit Office if your child goes into hospital or into ‘residential care’ for a period longer than twelve (12) weeks.

Disability Benefits

You would need to contact the Disability Service Centre if you are receiving either:

Call your local Jobcentre Plus office if you get any of the low or no income benefits, which include:

Housing Benefit

You can find your local council via the GOV.UK website to inform them about a hospital stay if you are getting Housing Benefit.

Pension-age Benefits

You should contact the Pension Service helpline if you are getting:

Universal Credit

Use your Universal Credit online account to report a hospital stay of 24 hours (or longer) or you can contact the helpline.

Universal Credit Helpline
Telephone: 0800 328 5644
Welsh language: 0800 328 1744
NGT text relay – if you cannot hear or speak on the phone: 18001 then 0800 328 5644
Textphone: 0800 328 1344
Monday to Friday: 8am to 6pm
Find out more on information call charges

Bereavement Benefits
Telephone: 0800 731 0139
Textphone: 0800 169 0314
NGT text relay (if you cannot hear or speak on the phone): 18001 then 0800 731 0139
Welsh language: 0800 731 0453
Monday to Friday: 8am to 6pm

General Enquiries
Telephone: 0800 731 0297
Textphone: 0800 731 0317
NGT text relay (if you cannot hear or speak on the phone): 18001 then 0800 731 0297
Monday to Friday: 8am to 6pm

Note: Call the relevant helpline to report a hospital stay for other benefits (e.g. if you are getting the Bereavement Allowance or the Carer’s Allowance).

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