How Universal Credit helps while you find work

Financial support

The financial support you receive through Universal Credit takes your circumstances into account. This will help to make sure your essential household bills are taken care of, so you can concentrate on finding work.

With Universal Credit, you could get extra amounts if you:

  • are responsible for children who live with you
  • care for a disabled person for more than 35 hours per week
  • have to pay rent or a mortgage
  • have a disability or health condition that prevents you from working

Read more about Universal Credit payments

Help looking and applying for work

Help with looking for work

If you’re new to jobseeking or have struggled to get work, you might need some guidance to help you find and apply for vacancies. That’s where your work coach comes in.

Your Universal Credit work coach will have regular conversations with you so that they can get to know you. This will help them understand your unique circumstances, so they can tell what types of support will make the biggest difference to your job search.

Your work coach can help you find your way around today’s jobs market. They know which sectors are most likely to have opportunities in your area, and can help identify how your skills and experience could appeal to employers.

If you’re looking for a different role or to get started in a new industry they can direct you to training that could help towards your job goals. Their knowledge and links with local employers could also help you get access to valuable work experience. And they can direct you to expert help from other organisations if that’s the right support for you.

If you’re able to prepare or look for work, you’ll agree a claimant commitment with your work coach that lays out what you’ll do in return for getting Universal Credit. This will reflect your personal circumstances, and will be recorded in your online account. You can also use that account to contact your work coach at any time.

Help with applying for work

When it comes to applying for jobs, your work coach can give you the best possible chance of success. Their support might include:

Find out more about how your Universal Credit work coach can help you find work.

Visit the JobHelp website for expert advice on applying for jobs, and tips on how to take your skills to a brand new role.

Programmes to help you find work

The Job Finding Support (JFS) programme is for people who have been unemployed and claiming income-replacement benefits for less than 13 weeks. It offers tailored one-to-one online support to help you develop the knowledge, skills and confidence to find and secure new employment.

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. It provides additional support designed to help you get back into employment as quickly as possible.

 The Kickstart Scheme is a 6-month paid job with a local employer. Jobs from the Kickstart Scheme are open to 16-24 year olds who are claiming Universal Credit and are at risk of long term unemployment.