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DWP: Universal Credit major rule change announced that could impact payments

today28 June 2022

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Work and Pensions Secretary, Therese Coffey has commented on a major change that will impact Universal Credit claimants. The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) rule change could see some benefits stopped.

Further tightening of the rules around Universal Credit mean that the ‘soon’ to be introduced change will effect anyone on the benefit. Under the current rules, claimants do not have to continue attending regular appointments at the Job Centre once they are employed for the equivalent of nine hours a week.

This minimum requirement will soon rise to 12 hours and could be raised even further in a second stage of changes. No specific date for the changes was announced, however, Therese Coffey said it would be “very soon”, according to Lancashire Live. Job vacancies rose to a record 1.3 million unfilled roles in May marking an increase of 20,000 from the previous quarter. Meanwhile, the number of people on out-of-work benefits reached 5.3 million in November of last year.

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In an interview with The Sunday Telegraph, Ms Coffey explained: “Once you get a job, if you’re working fewer than the equivalent of nine hours a week, we still expect you to be coming in and looking for work. We’re going to be raising that, I hope, very soon. We just want to help people get on into work. So that’s really important.”

In the interview she said that the threshold could eventually be raised even further, but that would require the employment of more job advisers – also known as work coaches. She said: “Well, we’re still working through that, I think there’s an opportunity to do more. The more people that we see in the job centre, dare I say it, the more work coaches we will need. So there’s a decision to be taken. And I believe we can go further than that…”

She added: “I think we should just get on with the initial bit. That in itself would bring about 120,000 people (into the work coach system). “

There are a number of reasons that Universal Credit payments can be cut. These include turning down a job offer or failing to update payment such as how many hours you work. A key change to the DWP policy in January saw a reduction to the time given to jobseekers to find a position in their chosen field.

In order to prevent Universal Credit payments being stopped, recipients must ensure they are turning up to their meetings; as payments are often cut or stopped altogether for no-shows. Universal Credit is a benefit that is claimed by almost six million people in the UK and how much you get depends on your circumstances, including your living arrangements, employment and any income and savings you have.

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Written by: thehitnetwork

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