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Universal credit query
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LittleMissMe99 · 20/08/2020 19:55

A lady is a year or so away from retirement. She actually decided to retire early and unfortunately her partner passed away a few months later, so she had to move etc.I helped her to set up universal credit. She gets the housing element and the basic element. She told them when she joined that she wasn't looking for employment. She received a phone call today from a work coach. She now thinks that if she doesn't look for work, she'll lose all her UC. Is this correct? She's not getting any job seekers element or anything. Thank you

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C152H · 20/08/2020 21:17

Did the work coach say that she would get no universal credit if she didn't look for work?

At the moment, the Universal Credit web page (the 'Home' page, when you logon) states:

"You will not get a sanction if you cannot keep your commitments during the coronavirus outbreak.

If your commitments say you should search for work or be available for work, your work coach will not check that you are doing this."

Not sure how this may impact the lady you are helping. Is she in a vulnerable category and would, therefore, find it extremely difficult to go to an interview or work in certain conditions?

If she does have to look for work, at the moment, this just means logging the applications she has made online.

Perhaps the Citizens Advice Bureau could offer some more specific help?

www.citizensadvice.org.uk/benefits/universal-credit/what-youll-need-to-do-on-universal-credit/change-claimant-commitment/

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MummytoCSJH · 20/08/2020 21:36

Outside of covid, yes this would be correct. The individual element has replaced job seekers even though it is not named as such (it has replaced lots of legacy benefits) and if she is not of retirement age and does not have a reason like disability fir being unable to work, yes she would be expected to look for work to continue receiving the full amount of UC, if she does not she would be sanctioned and receive less, repeated violations of this and they would eventually not pay anything. In the current situation no, but I imagine they will be tightening this soon as more people go back to work.

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