Changes to Universal Credit will pressure thousands in receipt of benefit to pick up extra work or find a job next month.

More than 100,000 people will see their Universal Credit work group change as a result of an increase in the Administration Earnings Threshold (AET).

The AET decides which group you are placed in, and this then impacts how many requirements you must meet in order to keep your benefits.

Currently the rate stands at £355 a month or £567 a month if you are a joint claimant.

Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard:

However, this will increase from September 26 to £494 a month or £782 for joint claimants.

If you earn more than these rates each month you will not be required to look for work and will have less contact with the JobCentre.

However, if you earn below this rate you will be moved to “intensive work search” and will be given a number of hours that you are expected to take part in work search activities each week.

Your individual circumstances will decide how many hours that is, with childcare commitments and health conditions being considered.

These are some of the other activities you may be asked to take part in:

  • Making applications
  • Creating and maintaining an online history
  • Registering with an employment agency
  • Creating and maintaining job profiles

Any mandatory commitments missed without a valid reason could lead to a sanction and your benefits being stopped.

A DWP spokesperson said: “The Department has been preparing to raise the Administrative Earning Threshold (AET) for several months as bringing more claimants into scope for intensive support will help more low-earning households to increase their incomes at a time of cost of living pressures.”