Sanctions against Universal Credit claimants

Sanctions are enforced if the claimant does not complete all the activities agreed to in the Claimant Commitment.

Universal Credit is made up of separate parts, any sanction will be taken from the standard allowance, rather then the housing costs.

It is important that you avoid being sanctioned as you will still have bills to pay, including your rent. Not paying your rent or utility bills could mean you lose your home or vital services.

Citizens Advice Reading give information on how to avoid a sanction.

Challenging a sanction

If you want to challenge the level or duration of your sanction, you can find details of how to do so on the letter telling you about the sanction.

Citizens Advice - arguments for challenging a sanction

You will get a letter giving the decision about your challenge and how to take it further, if necessary.

Rent payments

You must make sure that your rent payments are paid despite the sanction, to avoid losing your home.

Hardship payments

A hardship payment is an emergency payment to cover essential outgoings like food and bills.

You can apply for a hardship payment by phoning the Universal Credit helpline on 0345 600 0723 (Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm). They will arrange an appointment for you to attend your local Job Centre Plus within 24 hours. The amount of your hardship payment and how long you have to pay it back will be decided at this meeting.

You will need to have started to complete the actions on your Claimant Commitment to be considered for a hardship payment.

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