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DWP introduce major change to Universal Credit rules this month that might affect payments | Personal Finance | Finance


The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) is introducing recent rules which come into play September 26. The brand new rules will see Universal Credit claimants with no earnings or earnings below the Administration Earnings Threshold (AET) be put within the Intensive Work Search regime. Under the present system, persons are still encouraged to earn more money in order that they don’t need the top-up from Universal Credit, but the principles are less tight than for many who are out of labor.

The Administration Earnings Threshold will rise from £355 to £494 a month for single claimants.

For couples, it’s to extend from £567 to £782.

The DWP estimated that the change is to maneuver around 114,000 claimants who’re currently within the Light Touch regime across to the Intensive Work Search regime.

DWP guidance on the principles said: “Since its introduction in 2013, the AET has not kept pace with the increases within the National Living Wage, with the result that the variety of hours needed to work to earn the AET has fallen over time.

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“The adjustment will bring the AET back to its original parity with the National Living Wage.”

At present, the wage is about at £9.50 per hour for those aged 23 and over.

The brand new AET is the equivalent of a person working for around 12-14 hours every week, or a pair working for around 20-22 hours every week between them.

People within the Intensive Work Search regime may have to attend mandatory face-to-face work search reviews at their local job centre.


The Intensive Work Search regime requires those on it to undertake these work-related activities for a maximum of 35 hours every week. 

Nonetheless, the DWP stated that this could be adjusted for those with health conditions or caring responsibilities.

Along with checking compliance, the reviews will check if an individual has a “robust plan” in place” to satisfy the necessities of the DWP.

Claimants may be asked to go to skills assessments, develop a marketing strategy or research childcare costs.

The Government document states that if a claimant fails to satisfy their requirements “without good reason” a sanction will apply.

The DWP stated that those that have been affected by the change might be contacted beforehand. 

Former work and pensions secretary, Therese Coffey stated that the change was to “help claimants get quickly back into the world of labor while helping ensure employers get the people they and the economy needs.”

A key change to the DWP policy in January of this 12 months saw a discount within the time given to jobseekers to search out a position of their chosen/desired field.

Coming into force in February, claimants have now just 4 weeks to search out a position in comparison with the three months that that they had before.

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