How Often Are Universal Credit Appointments?

This blog post aims to help in answering the question of how often Universal Credit appointments are held. While we will explore the different circumstances under which such appointments are held and how these conditions affect how often Universal Credit appointments are held; we will also review the different types of meeting that a claimant may experience with their work coach during the course of their Universal Credit claim.

How Often Are Universal Credit Appointments?

How often your Universal Credit appointments are scheduled will depend on your circumstances. For instance, during the initial few weeks of your Universal Credit claim, you may be asked to meet your work coach every week or every fortnight. These are Work Search Review meetings during which your work coach will assess the progress regarding your ability to find paid employment.

The purpose of these frequent meetings is mainly for your work coach to get to know more about you as well as your skills and experience so that they can guide you towards finding a source of employment and increasing your earnings.

However, the frequency of these meetings over the long term will primarily depend on how you are assessed for work capability, whether you are making a single claim or a joint one if you have children and of what age(s). If a Universal Credit claimant is a lone parent of a child (or children) under 5 years of age, you may be asked to take part in a Work Focussed Interview every two weeks.

Meanwhile, if you are a self-employed benefit claimant currently in the start-up period of your business (during the first 12 months of your business before becoming gainfully self-employed), you will be required to attend meetings with your work coach every three months to agree upon actions that can increase your earnings.

That said, even though you may have interviews scheduled with a work coach at varying intervals during the year, each Universal Credit claimant undergoes an assessment each month. 

During this assessment, the DWP will compare the claimant’s current circumstances with the conditions under which they applied for the benefit. 

The purpose of these monthly assessments is to evaluate if there has been a change in a claimant’s circumstances due to which they are longer eligible to claim the benefit. 

If a claimant is aware that there have been certain changes in their circumstances that can affect their benefit claim (these include a change in income, employment or marital status, increase or decrease in their household members), they need not wait for a meeting a monthly assessment and should inform the DWP as soon as possible. This can either be done through a phone call at the local Jobcentre Plus office or by accessing one’s Universal Credit online account.

What Happens During The First Universal Credit Meeting?

The first Universal Credit meeting is usually a phone appointment that is held with your work coach. During this interview, you will be required to verify the information that you have provided to the DWP in support of your claim. 

This may require you to keep the following documents handy during the appointment:

  • details from your passport or driving license and your postcode
  • NI number, bank account, building society or credit union account number 
  • monthly rental payments and landlord’s address 
  • details of your savings and capital investments
  • details of your income and benefits
  • details of any child care payments made by you or child benefit reference numbers

You can be asked questions regarding the following aspects of your personal and professional life:

  • personal circumstances such as child care or health concerns that may affect your work-related responsibilities
  • educational qualifications, work experience and personal skills that can help in finding a suitable job for you
  • the type of job you aim to apply for and the number of hours you are willing (and able) to work
  • your personal situation including marital status, whether or not you have children
  • If there have been incidents in your life that affect your emotional wellbeing such as experiencing a personal loss, facing domestic abuse, having an addiction or being homeless

What Happens During The Work Search Review Meeting?

During the work search interview, a work coach may inquire the claimant regarding the nature and quality of activities involved in searching for a job, the amount of time spent in such activities as well as the outcomes of such activities. 

Claimants are advised to keep evidence of their work search ready during such interviews. These may include printouts of their resumes, job posts that they have applied to, feedback from potential employers, etc.

A work search review can also help in identifying a change in the claimant’s circumstances that may require changes to their previous claimant commitment and the work search related group assigned to them.

What Happens During The Commitments Review Meeting?

A commitments review meeting is a basic discussion between the work coach from the Jobcentre at DWP and a Universal Credit claimant to assess the individual’s ability to keep up with their Claimant Commitment as well as provide support and guidance to encourage progress. 

If the claimant has experienced a change in circumstances that can potentially affect their Universal Credit claim, they are expected to share such updates with their work coach during this session so that a new Claimant Commitment can be drafted, if need be.

These meetings are held regularly either through a phone call or a visit to the local job centre and it is mandatory for claimants to attend the review to keep their work coach updated on their progress regarding the commitments made with regard to their Universal Credit claim.


The above discussion helps to conclude that the number of times a Universal Credit claimant is required to meet with their work coach will primarily depend on the terms of their Claimant Commitment (this document carried details of the terms of a UC claim) and the responsibilities that the claimant is supposed to keep up with as well as the conditions under which they have been granted the benefit. While some claimants will have more frequent meetings such as on a fortnightly or monthly basis; others may be required to appear before their work coach every three months. 


Agree your Universal Credit Commitment | nidirect

What your Work Coach can do for you – JobHelp

Work-focused interviews / work-related activity – Carers UK