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Payments for the benefit, as well as for PIP (Personal Independence Payment) and state pensions could be reduced or suspended if the correct department is not notified. This could apply even if a person is staying in hospital for just one night.

Government figures show that more than 20 million people across the UK are claiming benefits or state pension.

Thousands more Britons are also claiming disability benefits such as PIP and Attendance Allowance.

Claimants must tell the office that pays their benefits as soon as they go into hospital for one night or longer.

They will also need to notify the office if they go into a care home or rehabilitation centre, for one night or longer.

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A person should also tell the office if they will miss a Jobcentre Plus appointment because they are in hospital or have a medical appointment.

A friend or relative can contact the DWP if the claimant is not able to do so.

When contacting the DWP, a person must provide their full name, date of birth, National Insurance number and their partner’s details, if they are part of the claim.

People calling on behalf of a friend or relative will need to provide the person’s details too.

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Those who receive PIP or Disability Living Allowance can contact the disability service centre.

Claimants of Income Support, Jobseeker’s Allowance, Employment and Support Allowance, and Housing Benefit can contact Jobcentre Plus.

People on Child Benefit should tell the child benefit office if their child goes into hospital or residential care for more than 12 weeks.

Those on Bereavement Allowance and Carer’s Allowance should also contact the DWP if they go into hospital.

The contact numbers are available on the Government website.