Universal Credit: Major rule change comes into force this week if you have children - check if it affects you
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People claiming Universal Credit who have and are looking after children aged one and two will have to meet with work coaches more regularly from July 24. The DWP said the extra appointments, which aim to help claimants find a job, will include “exploring steps to improve their skills, identifying support needs, learning about childcare provision, and boosting their confidence”.
Claimants looking after one-year-olds will have to attend these meetings every three months instead of six, while those with children aged two will have to meet coaches every month instead of three.
The DWP said the meetings increase the opportunity to engage and encourage claimants to think about a job in the future, consider the steps they can take and secure jobs when their child is older. It is understood that those impacted by the new rules will be told of the change at their next appointment with their work coach.
The changes could include grandparents, adoptive parents and other guardians as the new rules affect Universal Credit claimants who have the main caring responsibility for a child. For couples on Universal Credit, the person who is classed as the “lead carer” is affected by the rule change.
The move is the Government’s latest bid to get more people claiming Universal Credit into employment.
Guy Opperman MP, Minister for employment, said: “Thousands of parents of young children will start to meet their dedicated work coaches on a more regular basis. This extra support will help those on low incomes to think about and prepare for work while their child is young.
“We’ve already taken steps to support families by increasing the amount of help through Universal Credit and providing upfront childcare costs.”