The new DWP rule change for people on Universal Credit working part-time

Man and woman
DWP has confirmed the rule changes start this week -Credit:Supplied

Rule changes for around 180,000 people in part-time work claiming Universal Credit come into force this week. As of today (May 13), people working less than half of a full-time week will have to meet their work coach more often to boost their earnings.

The Department for Work and Pensions confirmed the sweeping changes to the welfare system, reports WalesOnline. Through these, the Administrative Earnings Threshold (AET) is going up from 15 hours to 18 hours per week for an individual claimant.

It will affect individuals earning below £892 per assessment period (typically a calendar month) or £1,437 for couples. This is up from £617 for individuals and £988 for couples.

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As a result, individual Universal Credit claimants will need to earn an additional £275 each month and couples an extra £449 - based on National Living Wage payment rates. It has been said by the DWP said that those able to work are expected to use the Jobcentre support available or face losing their benefits.

Speaking about the rule changes, Mel Stride, Work and Pensions Secretary Mel said: "We will always back those who want to work hard and today we are radially expanding the support available to help people progress in work. With the next generation of welfare reforms, I want to help thousands of people on their journey off benefits and towards financial independence.

“Our plan is making work pay, with people in full-time work now £7,000 better off than on out-of-work benefits, and our tax cuts putting £900 back in the pockets of millions of workers across Britain.” People can check how much Universal Credit they will get each month in the statement in their online account.

Universal Credit payments will reduce as people's wages go up, and increase again if you stop working or your wages go down. It has been explained that for every £1 you or your partner earns your payment goes down by 55p. This amount will be automatically deducted from your Universal Credit payment.

Every detail if you are below the AET

The DWP guidance on GOV.UK states that if you as an individual are earning below the AET in an assessment period, you must:

  • be available for work

  • show you’re actively looking for more, or better-paid work

Unless you’re part of a couple whose combined earnings are at, or above, the couple’s AET. Those who are part of a couple whose individual earnings are below the individual AET, and whose combined earnings are below the couple’s AET, both of you must:

  • show you’re actively looking for more, or better-paid work

  • be available for work

Regular personalised support should be offered from a ‘work coach’. They can help with job search strategies, interview skills and connecting with employers.

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