New to Universal Credit

9. Helping you into work

If you are able to work, jobseeking is likely to be one of your key responsibilities as part of your Universal Credit claim. There is a range of support available to help you with your job search and in getting back to work.

Work coach support

If you receive Universal Credit and are able to work, you will be provided with a work coach. They are there to help with your job search, and they can give you individual support depending on your needs. This can include:

  • helping you to identify your transferable skills and how these may help you in jobs or industries you may not have thought of before
  • using their local expertise to help with your job search and to find suitable opportunities for you
  • helping you create, improve and adapt your CV
  • supporting you with job applications and providing advice to increase your chance of success
  • helping you prepare and practise for interviews

It’s easy to contact your work coach through your Universal Credit online account

Finding work

JobHelp is a dedicated online job search support service. It contains lots of useful tools to help you get started with your job search including:

  • job search ideas, for example where to look for new opportunities and how you can use your existing skills
  • guidance and tips for completing job applications
  • information about industries and job types that are more likely to be recruiting at the moment
  • advice and support with CV writing, completing applications and preparing for interviews

Find a job provides a list of full-time and part-time jobs in England, Scotland and Wales. You can search based on location, industry and type of job.

Job Finding Support programme

If you’ve been unemployed and claiming income replacement benefits for less than 13 weeks, you may be able to apply for the government’s Job Finding Support (JFS) programme. The JFS programme offers tailored one-to-one online support to help you back into work, by helping you develop the knowledge, skills and confidence to find and secure new employment.

The programme offers at least 4 hours of one-to-one online support focused on what will help you find work, and at least one online group session. You will receive advice and practical support to help with your job search. This could include, but is not limited to:

  • help to identify your transferable skills
  • advice about growth industries and jobs
  • job matching to suitable vacancies and advice/links to suitable employers
  • a mock interview with feedback and guidance

You will also be helped to create an up to date CV and a personalised Job Finding Action Plan.

Your work coach will be able to advise whether JFS is right for you and if you are eligible. If you’re interested in JFS, contact your work coach using your online account

Job Entry Targeted Support

Job Entry Targeted Support (JETS) is a programme designed for people who have been out of work and claiming Universal Credit or New Style Jobseeker’s Allowance for at least 13 weeks.

If you take part in the JETS scheme, you’ll receive additional support designed to help you get back into employment as quickly as possible. This will include advice and guidance from employment experts including interview coaching, help identifying growth industries and help with your CV. The support available through JETS will be tailored, depending on what will be most valuable to you.

Find out more about JETS, and contact your work coach via your online account if you think JETS could be right for you.

Starting work

If you’ve been offered a job or have started work, additional support could be available to help you stay in work and make the most of the opportunity.

Universal Credit: Ongoing financial support

Universal Credit adapts to your income and can continue to top up your wages when you’re in work.

If you take part-time or low paid work your Universal Credit payments may reduce but you could still receive some Universal Credit to top up your wages.

This helps make sure that taking work is financially worthwhile, and could make it easier to get started in a new job or industry.

Find out more about how work affects your Universal Credit payments

Universal Credit: Work Allowance

You may be able to keep more of your Universal Credit if you are in work and if you are responsible for children, or if you have a health condition or disability that affects your ability to work.

This is known as a Work Allowance, and it means you can earn more money before your Universal Credit starts to reduce.

The size of your Work Allowance will depend on your circumstances. Find out more about Work Allowances

Universal Credit: Childcare

If you’re in work or have accepted a job offer, you may be able to claim back up to 85% of your childcare costs to help you stay in work and take care of your family.

It doesn’t matter how many hours you work as long as you are in employment, and you could claim back up to £646.35 per month if you have 1 child, or £1,108.04 per month if you have 2 or more children.

Find out more about how Universal Credit can help you stay in work by helping to pay for your childcare

Financial support for working with a health condition or disability

Access to Work is a government grant scheme that can pay for extra support you need to help you start or stay in work if you have a disability or health condition that affects your ability to work. The support you are awarded will be based on your needs, and could include a grant to cover the additional costs of practical support in the workplace. This could pay for additional support beyond any reasonable adjustments you’ve agreed with your employer such as:

  • support workers including interpreters
  • specialist equipment to make working easier
  • help with the additional cost of travel to and from work due to disability
  • mental health support service

You can check the full eligibility criteria and apply for Access to Work