Universal Credit and your Claimant Commitment

How the Universal Credit Claimant Commitment works and what is expected of claimants in return for getting Universal Credit.



This guide explains how people who claim Universal Credit will need to accept a Claimant Commitment before they can receive their benefit payments.

It covers what the Claimant Commitment is and how it will help claimants to find work. It outlines the kinds of things that claimants will be required to do in return for receiving Universal Credit, and shows how these depend upon each claimant’s individual circumstances.

The guide also highlights what will happen if claimants fail to do what they have accepted in their Claimant Commitment.

If a medical professional has said you have less than 12 months to live, you will not need a Claimant Commitment.

Published 28 March 2013
Last updated 4 April 2022 + show all updates
  1. People near the end of their life who have been told by a medical professional that they might have less than 12 months to live, do not need to make a Claimant Commitment and they will not be sanctioned. This has changed from 6 months.

  2. Added call outs to explain a change to the rules for claiming Universal Credit that mean if a medical professional has said you have less than 6 months to live, you will not need a Claimant Commitment or face sanctions.

  3. Removed the wording 'You will not get a sanction if you cannot keep to your Claimant Commitment because of coronavirus (COVID-19)'.

  4. Updated to reflect change in higher level sanction length from 3 years to 6 months.

  5. Removed references to Universal Credit full service and live service.

  6. Updated to reflect changes to Universal Credit from April 2016 (English only, Welsh to follow).

  7. Revised version with new information about the roll-out of Universal Credit.

  8. Published November 2014 edition of the leaflet.

  9. Updated to include the latest information about the expansion of Universal Credit

  10. Detail updated to provide more information about what is in the document

  11. First published.