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This publication is available at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/universal-credit-and-your-claimant-commitment-quick-guide/universal-credit-and-your-claimant-commitment
1. Your Claimant Commitment
When you claim Universal Credit you will need to accept your Claimant Commitment.
In most cases your Claimant Commitment will be drawn up during a conversation with your work coach at your local jobcentre.
Your Claimant Commitment will set out what you have agreed to do to prepare for and look for work, or to increase your earnings if you are already working. It will be based on your personal circumstances and will be reviewed and updated on an ongoing basis. Each time it is updated, you will need to accept a new Claimant Commitment to keep receiving Universal Credit.
The Claimant Commitment is your record of the responsibilities that you have accepted in return for receiving Universal Credit, and the consequences of not meeting them.
Your Universal Credit payments may be cut if you don’t meet your responsibilities.
If you have a Universal Credit online account you will be able to view your latest Claimant Commitment online. You will also be able to update your progress on your goals using that account.
If you claim Universal Credit as a couple, both of you will need to accept a Claimant Commitment. You will each have your own Claimant Commitment, and yours may be affected if your partner starts work or their circumstances change.
2. Tailored to your situation
Universal Credit changes as things change in your life. Your responsibilities will vary depending on such things as your family, your health and your potential for future earnings.
|If you are earning as much as can be expected||You will receive financial support without any other conditions to increase your earnings.|
|If you are able and available for work||You will need to do everything you reasonably can to give yourself the best chance of finding work. Preparing for and getting a job must be your full time focus. If you do not do this without a good reason, you will have a cut to your Universal Credit, known as a sanction.|
|If you currently have limited capability for work, related to a disability or health condition, but this is expected to change over time||You will be supported until your circumstances improve and you can work. You will be expected to prepare for work so far as you are able.|
|If you have a disability or health condition which prevents you from working||You will not be asked to work, and will be supported through Universal Credit.|
If you care for a severely disabled person for at least 35 hours a week you will not be required to work.
If you make a Universal Credit claim and have children you will need to nominate a lead carer. If you are a lone parent, you will automatically be the lead carer.
What is expected of the lead carer in return for getting Universal Credit will be based on the age of the youngest child in the household.
3. Support from your work coach
With Universal Credit, you will experience a different type of relationship with your work coach than you may have expected. They will focus on mentoring and coaching you, to help you meet the requirements recorded in your Claimant Commitment.
They will support and challenge you to fulfil your potential and help you to raise your expectations of what you can achieve.
If you are able to look or prepare for work, your Claimant Commitment will include things like your job goals, regular work search activity, or any work preparation actions that you must complete to receive Universal Credit.
Work search activity could involve registering with ‘Find a job’ or a recruitment agency, or applying for suggested vacancies.
Work preparation activity could include preparing a CV or attending and completing a training course. You could also be expected to attend regular interviews to discuss progress.
You should think of jobseeking as a full-time job. You will be expected to look or prepare for work for 35 hours a week, depending on your circumstances.
4. Not meeting your responsibilities
Your Claimant Commitment will clearly state what will happen if you fail to meet each of your responsibilities. You will have a cut in your benefit, known as a sanction, if you fail to meet one of your responsibilities and can’t give a good reason to explain why.
Depending on what you failed to do and how many times you have failed to meet your responsibilities, a sanction can last for up to 3 years.