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DWP introduces strict new rules that start on Monday – check if you're affected

A stringent new Universal Credit rule will be enforced from Monday, affecting claimants working fewer than 18 hours a week, requiring them to seek out more work.

This shift is part of the Government’s extensive revamp of the welfare system, wherein ministers are upping the administrative earnings threshold from 15 hours to 18 hours at National Living wage for single claimants.

Those working less than half a standard workweek must meet with their work DWP coach more frequently.

Speaking about the changes, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said: “Today’s changes will help more people on universal credit move into well-paid jobs and progress towards financial independence, which is better for them and for economic growth.”

The PM also said that “welfare should always be a safety net and not a lifestyle choice”.

The rule changes will have an impact on claimants raking in below £892 per month or £1,437 for couples, the DWP said. This sees an increase from the previous outlines of £617 for individuals and £988 for couples.

Around 180,000 individuals will be affected by this change, the DWP says.

Work and Pensions Secretary Mel Stride has come out swinging with a robust defence of the government’s employment strategy, saying: “We will always back those who want to work hard and today we are radically expanding the support available to help people progress in work.

“With the next generation of welfare reforms, I want to help thousands of people on their journey off benefits and towards financial independence.”

Stride continued to champion the government’s approach, saying: “Our plan is making work pay, with people in full-time work now £7,000 better off than on out-of-work benefits, and our tax cuts putting £900 back in the pockets of millions of workers across Britain.”

However, Mr Sunak’s welfare reform plan, unveiled last month and including a contentious review of payments to individuals with mental health conditions, has sparked fierce criticism, with some slamming it as a “full-on assault on disabled people”.


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