New scheme to detail what jobseekers must do to receive benefits

A new initiative will be rolling out across the country this autumn that will outline what people will need to do in order to receive benefits.

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A new initiative will be rolling out across the country this autumn that will outline what people will need to do in order to receive benefits.

Jobseekers will soon need to account more clearly for their efforts to find work and will be given a weekly timetable of tasks to complete, as part of the Claimant Commitment.

From October, around 100 job centres a month will begin using the Claimant Commitment with new jobseekers until it is in place across the whole of the UK.

Under the new agreement, a benefit recipient’s responsibilities will be set out in detail and they will need to fulfil their commitment in order to receive state welfare. Those who fail to comply with their responsibilities risk losing their benefits.

A personal statement setting out what they will do to prepare for and find work will be based on the discussion between the jobseeker and their adviser and they will be required to renew the commitment on a regular basis.

According to the government, the new initiative is an important part of the cultural transformation that Universal Credit will bring and will place a strong focus on the responsibilities that claimants must fulfil.

Secretary of state for work and pensions Iain Duncan Smith said the new scheme is a "fair deal" for those on benefits.

"This is about redefining the relationship between benefit claimants and the state. The welfare state will support people when they fall on hard times, but in return they need to meet some contracted responsibilities agreed with a Jobcentre Plus adviser," he added.

People claiming benefits must ensure they stick to the rules put in place by the government or they could lose some of the valuable state support they receive. This is especially important for those in debt as missing a repayment could lead to charges. It is vital for individuals to plan ahead with their finances and take into account all outgoings so they have enough money for the month.

By James Francis

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