Housing Systems: Combating poverty and sustaining tenancies.

Coronavirus: Universal Credit - Claimant Commitment
Universal Credit - Claimant Commitment

  • Every Universal Credit claimant has to have a Claimant Commitment (with some limited exceptions).

  • This outlines what the claimant must do to be able to claim and continue to receive Universal Credit - often referred to as 'conditionality'.

  • The Claimant Commitment states in general terms what is required and the claimant will (normally) be notified via their UC journal of specific actions which they are required to take.

  • If the claimant (or their partner) fails to comply with any specific requirements without good reason, then their Universal Credit award is sanctioned - ie they get less money in their Universal Credit payment for a period of time.

  • Whenever a UC claimant has a change in their circumstances they should notify their work coach - it may mean that they have to have their current claimant commitment altered.

  • Where a claimant's claimant commitment is reviewed they will need to accept their new commitment online and within 7 days otherwise their claim will be closed.

  • Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, all work search requirements have been suspended, as has the requirement to be immediately available for work. This is the case up to the end of June 2020 (and could be extended).

  • If a claimant is sanctioned then they should seek advice about challenging the sanction (and can apply for a Hardship Payment - a loan that may be given to help them during the period of the sanction).
Frequently Asked Questions
I’m currently on UC as a jobseeker, but need to provide care for my Mum who has come down with Coronavirus. I’m worried that my UC will be sanctioned as I’m having to stay with Mum temporarily. And she’s no access to the internet.

Let your Work Coach know what is going on - if you can’t access the internet to get on your journal call the Helpline 0800 328 5644.

If you are having to self-isolate due to government guidelines you should be treated as having a limited capability for work. This means that your Work Coach should review your claimant commitment - so make sure you agree to your new claimant commitment within 7 days - or your claim could be closed.

Even after your mum recovers and you are no longer self-isolating, your work search requirements should be suspended for the moment anyway - due to the coronavirus outbreak. This is a temporary measure for all claimants, initially up to the end of June 2020, so watch out for messages from your work coach when this changes.