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Understanding work and benefits

Find out how you can make sure you're better off in work.

Starting a new job, taking on extra hours, or returning to work after a period of not working can affect the benefits you get.

Find our exactly how your benefits could change, what you need to do, and how you can make sure you're better off in work.

Accepting a job offer

If you get a new job while you’re on benefits you must tell the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). If you don’t, you could receive the wrong amount of benefits.

When you contact the DWP, you should:

  • tell them the name of your employer
  • tell them the start date of your new job or extra hours
  • find out if you can apply for help with childcare costs
  • discuss your claimant commitment with your work coach. 

Refusing a job offer

If you turn down a job offer, you’ll need to tell your work coach as it can affect your claimant commitment.

The DWP can't make you take a job, but if you don’t have a good reason for turning down an opportunity you may be 'sanctioned'. This means having your universal credit temporarily reduced.

How to contact the DWP

To report changes in your circumstances, like accepting or refusing a job offer, contact your work coach online by signing in to your universal credit account.

Freephone: 0800 328 5644

Welsh language: 0800 012 1888

Textphone: 0800 328 1344

Find out about universal credit on the government website

How we can help

Use our benefits calculator to find out how much better off you’ll be in work. It will help you find out what benefits you can claim so you can stay in control of your finances.

If you’re unsure about benefits calculations or would like help and guidance with other financial matters, please contact our Clarion Futures support team below.

They can also help you plan for work-related costs, such as travel, work clothes or childcare, and may be able to help you get grants for work or business.

Meet our Financial Guidance Officer, Geraldine

Geraldine provides support for Clarion residents on universal credit.

Some of them are new residents, so she’ll check they’ve got everything they need to set up their new home. She’s there to advise on everything from council tax to grants for furniture.

She’ll also check in with residents who’ve moved on to universal credit due to a change of circumstances. They may need job and training advice, or support getting online.

“There is so much fear of universal credit, so letting people know there is help is so important, especially around council tax – as so many people don’t realise it’s a separate claim.”

I love nothing better than being able to tell someone they’re eligible for more.


financial guidance officer

Tools for managing your money

Benefits calculator

Find out which benefits you can claim with our simple online benefits calculator.

It’s free to use, takes just a few minutes, and is completely anonymous.

Benefits calculator


A calculator graphic.

Budget planner

The Money Advice Service has a useful online budget planner to help you stay in control of your money. It can help you see what you can afford and how you might be able to save.

It’s simple to complete and anyone can use it.

Go to Money Advice Service

If you want any help using the budget planner or our benefits calculator, or would like any other financial guidance, please contact our Clarion Futures support team.

Contact us