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Universal credit claimant commitment

To qualify for universal credit, you may need to meet certain work-related conditions, known as ‘requirements’. These are recorded in a ‘claimant commitment’. This is normally drawn up at the ‘universal credit interview’ with your ‘work coach’. You must accept the claimant commitment to get universal credit.

If you are claiming universal credit jointly with your partner, you both need to accept a claimant commitment.

There are four different types of requirement. Your circumstances will determine which of these applies to you:

  1. Work-focused interview requirement – Work-focused interviews are designed to assess your prospects and assist or encourage you to move into or stay in work. 

  2. Work preparation requirement - This can include taking part in training, work experience or an employment programme.

  3. Work search requirement - This can include getting a reference, searching for work, applying for jobs and registering with employment agencies. You will normally be expected to search for work for at least 35 hours each week, but this can be less if you have caring responsibilities or a physical or mental impairment. 

  4. Work availability requirement. Find out more

In some circumstances, none of these requirements will apply to you.

The temporary suspension of the claimant commitment and sanctions has now been lifted. The suspension was introduced because of the coronavirus outbreak and the consequent lockdown.

If you are making a new claim for universal credit, you will now need to accept a claimant commitment. If you are already getting universal credit, your claimant commitment will be reviewed and updated to take account of the current situation. If you are shielding or have childcare responsibilities, this must be taken into account. You should not be sanctioned if you do not have an up-to-date claimant commitment. 

You can now make an appointment to see your work coach at a jobcentre if help cannot be given online or over the phone.



If you have been assessed in a work capability assessment as having a ‘limited capability for work’, you will only have to take part in work-focused interviews and work preparation – you cannot be forced to take up paid work. For more information, see our Factsheet F71 - work capability assessment

If you fail to meet a work-related requirement, your universal credit may be reduced or ‘sanctioned’. For more information, see our factsheet F70 - sanctions

Finding a job

Find a job is a Government online search tool, which you can access from www.gov.uk/jobsearch

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