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The new Universal Credit rules mean you may need to increase your working hours.

The new rules mean more than 180,000 people on Universal Credit will need to work longer hours or risk losing their benefits.

Here’s what you need to know about these changes.

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The Government has changed the rules on working hours and claiming Universal Credit from Monday, 13 May 2024.

If you are on UC and work less than 18 hours a week, you will need to find more work to receive benefits.

Before these new rules you had to work at least 15 hours a week.

The government wants people to be more independent and less dependent on benefits, by getting better jobs and earning more money.

They believe this will help boost the economy, but fundamentally it will also reduce the amount of money they spend on welfare.

Who does it affect?

The change affects anyone on Universal Credit who is working less than 18 hours a week on the minimum wage.

If you earn more per hour, you won’t need to work the full 18 hours if you meet the earnings threshold.

However, the government has increased the administrative income limit (AET).

From now on, if you earn less than £892 a month (or £1,437 for couples), you will need to find more work.

You can earn minimum wage by working 18 hours a week.

This is an increase from the previous limit of £617 for individuals and £988 for couples.

If you have been affected, you will receive a message in your Universal Credit Journal.

You will then move to the “Advanced Job Search Group” and you will need to:

  • Meet with a job coach more often.
  • Make plans to increase your work hours or find a better paying job

If you don’t follow these new rules, you could lose your benefits.

To help, there will be additional support to meet your coach, write a CV and undertake training and skills courses.

The government says they will consider personal circumstances, such as health conditions or caring responsibilities.

Be sure to discuss your situation with your work coach so you can get the right help.

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