Universal Credit claims are likely to rapidly increase with the Office for National Statistics revealing UK unemployment rose by 4.8 percent in the three months to September. Universal Credit claimants may see their payments rise next week as benefits are boosted. But when you claim Universal Credit you need to accept your Claiming Commitment. But what exactly is a Claiming Commitment and how does it affect your Universal Credit payments?

What is Universal Credit?

Universal Credit is a single payment available to those who are on a low income or out of work.

It replaced six legacy benefits which are:

  • Income Support
  • Working Tax Credit
  • Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
  • Housing Benefit
  • Child Tax Credit.

READ MORE: Universal Credit loophole to be closed next week – payments to rise

If you have children the following Claiming Commitment may apply to you:

  • If you are looking after a child: Your Claiming Commitment is based upon the age of your youngest child.
  • If you are looking after a child aged under one year old: You will be placed in the no work-related requirements group.
  • If you are looking after a child aged one year old: You will be placed in the work-focused interviews group but will not be expected to look for work. However, you may be asked to have interviews with a work coach.
  • If you are looking after a child aged two years old: You will be placed in the work preparation group but will not be expected to look for work. However, you may be expected to engage in activities to improve your chances of getting a job in the future.
  • If you are looking after a child aged from three years old to school age: You will be placed in the all work-related requirements group and will be expected to look for work and be available to take on work once a job is offered to you. But you are not expected to work more than 16 hours a week or spend more than that same time looking for work.
  • If you are looking after a child aged school age to 12: You will be placed in the all work-related requirements group and have the same responsibilities as above, except the hour requirement will rise to 25 hours per week.
  • If you are looking after a child aged 13 and above: You will be placed in the all work-related requirements group and have the same responsibilities as above, except the hour requirement will rise to 48 hours per week for working hours and 35 hours a week looking for work.

What happens if you fail to meet your Claiming Commitment?

Your Claiming Commitment will outline exactly what penalties you will face if you fail to meet each of your responsibilities.

If you fail to meet your Claiming Commitment you may be sanctioned.

Sanctions will equate to reduction by the following amounts:

  • If you are single and under 25: £8.40 per day as long as the sanction lasts
  • If you are single and older than 25: £10.60 per day as long as the sanction lasts
  • If you are in a couple and you are both under 25: £6.60 per day if one of you has been sanctioned.
  • If you are in a couple and you are both under 25: £8.30 per day if only one of you has been sanctioned.



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