The DWP has released updated guidance for its “claimant commitments” – what it expects people to do in order to receive their Universal Credit payments
New Universal Credit rules have been issued as thousands of claimants with children need to find work or face benefit cuts.
The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has released updated guidance for its “claimant commitments” – what it expects people to do in order to receive their Universal Credit payments. If you do not follow your commitments than you can have your Universal Credit payments cut.
The new rules came into effect on October 25 and the DWP guidance says that your claimant commitment pledges will be tailored to your personal situation. This includes if you have children. Under Universal Credit rules, if you are a parent or are looking after children then you will need to nominate a main carer for your child. If you’re a single parent or the nominated main carer, the DWP says your responsibilities will change as your youngest child gets older.
Here are the new commitment rules you will take on if you have children and are claiming Universal Credit:
To encourage more parents on Universal Credit to take on more work, the DWP increased the support parents could claim for childcare costs earlier this year. The changes now mean that parents claim back childcare costs of up to £951 for one child and £1,630 for two or more children. This is an increase from the previous caps of £646 for one child or £1,108 for two or more children.
Alongside this, parents now also get extra support with the first month’s childcare costs when they start work or increase their hours
At the time of the announcement of the new rules, Secretary of state for work and pensions Mel Stride said: “We are pulling down barriers that stop parents working and fulfilling their potential because we know full-time work not only benefits mum and dad but the whole family too. These changes will support thousands on their back-to-work journey.”