DWP issues new 'work' rules with 180,000 people on Universal Credit impacted

The Department for Work and Pensions has implemented tough new working rules for Universal Credit claimants. The DWP has issued new rules for claimants around looking for work - with 180,000 people will be affected by them.

Claimants have their Universal Credit claim will be placed into either one of four work activity groups and this highlights what you should be doing to keep your Universal Credit claim. According to Citizens Advice, these include: no work-related requirements group, which means you don’t have to do anything to prepare or look for work, and work-focused interview group, where you have to go to regular meetings with your work coach.

Other groups are the work preparation group, where you have to meet your work coach regularly and also prepare for work. This includes things like writing a CV and going on training or work experience, and the all work-related activity group, where you have to do all you can to find a job or earn more.

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This includes looking for jobs, applying for jobs and going to interviews. The government's Administrative Earnings Threshold (AET) determines which group a person is placed into, based on how much they earn per calendar month with those above the threshold falling within the light touch group and those below into the intensive work group.

If you fall into the latter, you need to work more to keep your benefits. This month, the Government increased the AET threshold, meaning those who fall below the limit will have to look for more work. From May 13, the AET stood at 18 hours a week, up from 15 hours, which is equal to half of a full-time week and equivalent to £892 a month.

For couples, the new AET rose to 29 hours a week, or the equivalent of earning £1,437 a month. If you don't, then your benefits can be cut or stopped altogether.