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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.

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. 

If you fail to meet a work-related requirement, your universal credit may be reduced or ‘sanctioned’. 

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