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Claimant Commitment - Getting It Right

  • 25/09/2019
  • Author:bridgetmccall

Public Law Project launches claimant commitment website for Universal Credit claimants and advisers

A person signing a document

The Public Law Project (PLP) has launched a Claimant Commitments microsite for advisers and claimants to help make sure that individual claimant commitments are appropriately tailored and do not impose unrealistic requirements.

The microsite went live after the Social Security Advisory Committee (SSAC) report on the effectiveness of claimant commitments raised concerns about inappropriate requirements being made of claimants. The SSAC report also showed that people with mental health problems are less likely to feel that their commitments reflect their circumstances.

Content on the claimants commitment microsite is customised for specific groups of claimants who may be more at risk of having a sanction imposed or who are likely to be particularly badly affected if they are sanctioned.

Leaflets for different claimant groups can be downloaded as printer-friendly PDF documents that fit on one piece of A4 paper. References to the relevant regulations and sections of Department of Work and Pensions  (DWP) guidance are included, so that claimants can refer to them when they meet their work coaches or communicate via their journal.

The leaflets available are:

Background

The Public Law Project (PLP) has been running a project on benefit sanctions since 2016.

As part of this work, PLP has been accepting referrals for casework as well as running training workshops for welfare rights advisers, mental health support workers and people working in housing. It has become clear from the charity's research and training that some Universal Credit claimants are being given standardised or template claimant commitments that do not reflect their individual circumstances or which fail to take into account important information.

Many people who claim Universal Credit are unaware that factors such as mental health, domestic violence, homelessness or childcare can be taken into account when drawing up their claimant commitment.

PLP's concern is that claimant commitments that are not tailored to meet individual circumstances create a higher risk of sanctions, as claimants may have work-related requirements imposed on them that are not reasonable or realistic.

Please give your feedback

PLP would welcome your feedback on these resources:

  • Are they useful to you and your clients?
  • Have you used them?
  • What, if any, improvements might be made?

Please do let PLP know what you think by emailing: claimantcommitments@publiclawproject.org.uk

If you would like to have hard copies of the leaflets on the website and you are unable to access a printer, please email: a.godfrey@publiclawproject.org.uk

Turn2us information on Universal Credit

Turn2us has several guides on Universal Credit.

These include a guide on Universal Credit sanctions and Universal Credit Claimant Commitment Conditionality

 

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