Politics

Universal Credit claimants could be exempt from incoming rule changes


The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has confirmed that some Universal Credit claimants will be exempt from certain rule changes coming into force.

From February 15, the UK government has confirmed that terminally ill claimants in the UK will not have to show the DWP that they’re taking measures such as looking for work.

The UK minister for disabled people, health and work, Chloe Smith said the government would now exempt people who are terminally ill from the requirement to accept a claimant commitment to be eligible for benefits.

READ MORE: DWP confirm changes to rules on recording PIP assessments

According to Wales Online, a claimant commitment means that the person must agree to take certain steps in exchange for receiving benefits.

This can include providing proof that they are actively looking for work, increasing their earnings or reports from changes in circumstances.

Under the current regulations, anyone claiming benefits under the Special Rules for Terminal Illness is exempt from needing to search for work. However, there is no blanket exemption for terminally ill people to accept a claimant commitment more generally.

But from February 15 this is set to change.

Ms Smith said in a statement in the House of Commons on Monday, January 24, that the DWP was introducing an amendment to the Universal Credit Regulations 2013 and the Employment and Support Allowance Regulations 2013.

This will exempt people who are terminally ill from the requirement to accept a claimant commitment to be eligible for benefits.



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“To streamline the process and provide certainty to those approaching the end of their lives, the statutory instrument laid will therefore create a specific exemption from claimant commitments for terminally ill people,” she added.

Ms Smith said the government would also be bringing forward regulations shortly to replace the current six-month rule for determining eligibility for the special rules for terminal illness with a 12-month, end of life approach in universal credit and employment and support allowance (ESA) benefits.

Changes to personal independence payment, disability living allowance and attendance allowance will be made when parliamentary time allows, Ms Smith added.

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