Universal Credit Sanctions

Table of Contents

What are Universal Credit sanctions?

When claiming Universal Credit, you’re required to follow what is set out in your Claimant Commitment or your Work Related Requirements. You have to follow this to get your Universal Credit payments.

The details of your Claimant Commitment or your Work Related Requirements will  depend on your personal  circumstances.

If you fail to do something you were required to as part of your Claimant Commitment or your Work Related Requirements, without a reasonable reason for doing so, you will be sanctioned.

This means your Universal Credit will be reduced for a set period of time.

How much is a Universal Credit sanction?

The amount of money you’ll be sanctioned from your Universal Credit payments is subject to your personal circumstances and whether it’s a single claim, or a joint claim. 

How much is a Universal Credit Sanction for a Single Claim?

If you’re single and over 25, your Universal Credit sanction will be £11 a day for the duration of your sanction.

If you’re single and under 25, your Universal Credit sanction will be £8.70 a day for the duration of your sanction

How much is a Univeral Credit Sanction for a Joint Claim?

If you’re in a couple and one or both of you is over 25, the sanction will be £8.60 a day if one of you has been sanctioned.

If you’re in a couple and you’re both under 25, the sanction will be £6.80 a day if only one of you has been sanctioned.

Are there any exceptions to Universal Credit sanctions?

You might not have as much money taken off your Universal Credit payments if:

  • You’re 16 or 17 years old
  • You’re only supposed to take part in work-focused interviews – this most commonly applies to people caring for young children and people with disabilities
  • You’re someone who doesn’t have to do anything to get your Universal Credit (no work related requirements), because:

  1. You’re the carer for a child under one
  2. You’re pregnant and your baby is due in less than 11 weeks
  3. You had a baby less than 15 weeks ago
  4. You’re adopting a child and it’s less than one year since the child was placed with you.

How long do Universal Credit sanctions last?

The duration of your Universal Credit sanction depends on what you’re expected to do to get your Universal Credit. And, what you did, or didn’t do to get the sanction.

High Level Universal Credit Sanctions

You may get a high level sanction if:

  • you fail to apply for a job(s)
  • you fail to accept a job offer
  • you leave your job without a good reason

High level Universal Credit Sanctions are usually 91 days long. If you’ve already had a high level sanction in the past year, you might be sanctioned for 182 days.

Medium Level Universal Credit Sanctions

You might get a medium level sanction if you:

  • don’t try hard enough to find work
  • you’re not available for work

Medium level Universal Credit sanctions are usually 28 days long. If you’ve already had a medium level sanction in the past year, you might be sanctioned for 91 days.

Low Level Universal Credit Sanctions

Most other reasons to get a sanction will result in a low level Universal Credit sanction. Examples of when you might get a low level Universal Credit sanction include:

  • If you fail to attend a work focused interview
  • If you fail to sign on when you’re supposed to
  • If you don’t provide evidence asked for by the DWP
  • If you fail to go on a course recommended as part of your work preparation.

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