DWP will look into your Universal Credit claim if you’re not working for this reason

By Staff

More Universal Credit claimants will be subject to tougher working rules as the Additional JobCentre Support pilot has been expanded to more areas of England and Scotland

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has shared plans on when it will be looking into Universal Credit claims under new working rules.

The Government announced that it would be expanding its Additional JobCentre Support pilot to a further 30 places in England and Scotland taking the number taking part to 150. The scheme was first announced last year under the Government’s “Back to Work” plan.

The plan aimed to increase a person’s employability through an intensive support course, which would see the claimant meet for one-to-one meetings with their Jobcentre work coach daily. Alongside this, those doing the scheme will have their “Claimant Commitment” regularly reviewed and tailored to include specific steps they need to follow.

The Universal Credit Claimant Commitment is an official agreement on what you have to do to get Universal Credit payments. This includes things like writing a CV, looking for work, attending work meetings at the Jobcentre, going to job interviews, or increasing your earnings if you are already working. The DWP said it would specifically focus on those who had been claiming and were unemployed after 13 weeks or had low earnings after 26 weeks.

The intensive support scheme was introduced as the DWP states that a “claimant’s likelihood of securing employment declines after 13 weeks” so hope with early intervention the claimant will be able to secure work sooner. With the scheme’s expansion, more and more claimants will be impacted.

Certain people on Universal Credit are exempt from the intensive programme and this includes those who are waiting for work-capability assessments, those required to do less than 35 hours a week of work search activity and those already exempt from searching for jobs.

In a recent update on Government’s plans, the DWP said: “The measures announced in the Spring Budget build on the next generation of welfare reforms the Secretary of State ushered in last autumn. The plans offer unprecedented employment and health support to help over a million people, while protecting those in most need from cost of living pressures – including raising pensions and benefits and more help with housing costs.”

“While unemployment has been almost halved since 2010, our £2.5billion Back to Work plan will help thousands of people with disabilities, long-term health conditions and the long-term unemployed, to move into jobs. This comes alongside the Government’s Chance to Work Guarantee, so that claimants on incapacity benefits can try work without fear of losing their benefits.”

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