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Last updated:
19/10/2018

Should I tell anyone that I have gone into hospital?

  1. Overview
  2. What happens to my money, home and pets when I go into hospital?
  3. Should I tell anyone that I have gone into hospital?
  4. I was working when I went into hospital. What happens to my pay?
  5. I was claiming benefits when I went into hospital. What will happen to them?
  6. I claim Universal Credit. How will this be affected?
  7. How can I pay my bills if I’m in hospital?
  8. I can’t afford my debts, what can I do?
  9. What if I cannot look after my money?
  10. Next steps

Department for Work and Pensions (DWP)

It is important to tell the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) if you go into hospital but if you are too unwell to tell them, ask a relative to do it for you, or a carer if you have one.

You could also ask a healthcare professional, like a nurse, doctor or social worker to do it for you, and some hospitals wards have regular visits from benefits advisers who can give you advice and ensure the DWP knows you have gone into hospital.

Some hospitals wards have regular visits from benefits advisers who can give you advice and ensure the DWP knows you have gone into hospital.

You can tell the DWP by telephone, but it is better to write to them. Keep a copy of the letter and make sure that you get a certificate of postage from the post office, which is usually free of charge – this way you can prove that you have told the DWP of your change in circumstances. If you don’t, the DWP will continue to pay your benefits in the normal way. This might mean that you get money you aren’t entitled to and if this happens, it is called being ‘overpaid’. 

If you are overpaid, the DWP is likely to ask you for the money back. If you can’t pay it back in one lump sum, they will usually deduct money from your benefits and this means you will get a smaller amount of benefit each week whilst still having to pay for all your usual living expenses like your food, gas, electricity and travel costs.

Your local DWP office number should be on any correspondence you have had with them. You may also find it in a local telephone book, or you can look online by typing your postcode into this website link.

Local authority

If you are claiming Housing Benefit, you need to tell your local authority that you have gone into hospital. Your Housing Benefit can be paid for 52 weeks while you are in hospital, but the local authority needs to know when you went into hospital to avoid an overpayment.

Your landlord

If you rent from a private landlord or housing association, you should normally tell them that you have gone into hospital, just so they don’t think you have abandoned your home.

You should also check your tenancy agreement as it might have conditions about leaving your home vacant for a set amount of time.

Your bank

You can ask your bank to send your bank statements to the hospital ward, or you can ask them to be sent to a friend or relative that you trust. This will help you manage your money while you are in hospital.

You can ask your bank to send your bank statements to the hospital ward, or you can ask them to be sent to a friend or relative that you trust. This will help you manage your money while you are in hospital.

Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC)

If you are receiving tax credits, you should tell Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) about the change in your income as they may change your award. The Tax Credits Helpline number is 0345 300 3900.

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Within this subject

  1. Overview
  2. What happens to my money, home and pets when I go into hospital?
  3. Should I tell anyone that I have gone into hospital?
  4. I was working when I went into hospital. What happens to my pay?
  5. I was claiming benefits when I went into hospital. What will happen to them?
  6. I claim Universal Credit. How will this be affected?
  7. How can I pay my bills if I’m in hospital?
  8. I can’t afford my debts, what can I do?
  9. What if I cannot look after my money?
  10. Next steps
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