You will get expert help and advice from your work coach to encourage and support you in your search for work.
They will set you targets to make sure you are doing everything you can to find a job. In return you will need to take personal responsibility for finding work.
It is up to you to do everything you can to support yourself and your family. If you are working part time and able to work more, you will be required to look for additional work or work more hours.
Your Claimant Commitment
To receive Universal Credit you will need to accept a Claimant Commitment that sets out the steps you will take towards finding work. What you’re asked to do will be tailored to you and your situation. Your Claimant Commitment will include details of what you need to do to improve your chances of getting a job.
If you do what you’ve agreed in your Claimant Commitment, Jobcentre Plus will give you all the support you need to prepare for work, move into work, or to earn more. However, if you don’t do what you’ve agreed and can’t give a good reason why, you could lose some your benefit.
If you’re unable to work, Universal Credit will continue to support you. If you are unemployed and able to work, you should think of jobseeking as your job. You will be expected to look or prepare for work for 35 hours a week, depending on your circumstances. Job-related activities that count towards your 35 hours can include:
- searching for jobs
- visiting potential employers
- doing training courses
If you live with your partner and both of you are claiming Universal Credit, you will both need to accept and sign your own Claimant Commitment.
Universal Credit payments
Universal Credit is paid monthly, directly into the account you have chosen. If you are part of a couple, living in the same household, and both of you are claiming Universal Credit you will receive one monthly payment into one account. Other adults living in the same household who are claiming Universal Credit will be paid separately.
Monthly payments match the way most salaries are paid. This will help you to move into work, as you will be used to managing a monthly budget. If you’re not used to managing your money in this way, a range of support services are available to help you budget successfully. Your work coach can talk to you about the types of help you might find useful. Where necessary it is possible to use alternative arrangements, such as twice monthly payments, for a period of time.
Getting ready for Universal Credit
The Universal Credit Personal Planner can help you prepare for the changes the new service brings. You provide the answers to some basic questions and it will tell you how ready you are for Universal Credit. It provides advice on what you need to do and the best sources of help. It will not tell you how much Universal Credit you will get as this will depend on your circumstances when you claim.
You can prepare for Universal Credit by doing things such as:
- opening a bank account
- finding out where you can access the internet
- improving your internet skills
You can also see the ‘Prepare for Universal Credit’ information leaflet
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