Benefit sanctions – what are they and what can you do about them?

Everyone who claims Universal Credit (UC) has different circumstances, so there isn’t one specific reason that you might receive a sanction, but if you don’t carry out the duties that you signed up to in your claimant commitment, you could be sanctioned.

The sanction can reduce the UC payment you receive by up to 100% for a single claimant or up to 50% for each member of a couple. So, if you are 25 and over, your UC sanction could cost you:

£10.60 per day if you are single for as long as your sanction lasts£8.30 per day if you are in a couple and only one of you has been sanctioned.

Only the Standard Allowance portion of your UC payment should be reduced, so if you receive any of the additional elements for housing or children, these shouldn’t be affected by the sanction.

The length of time the sanction runs for will depend on what level of sanction is applied to your benefit:

1) High level UC sanctions

The sort of things that might trigger a high level sanction on your UC are if you don’t apply for a job, reject a job offer or if you leave your job without a good reason. They will usually last for 91 days, but if you’ve already had a high level sanction in the past year, it could last for 182 days.

2) Medium level UC sanctions

You might get a medium level UC sanction if you haven’t done enough to look for work or are unavailable for work. This level of sanction usually lasts for 28 days, but if you’ve already had a medium level sanction in the last year, it might last for 91 days.

3) Low level UC sanctions

This level of UC sanction covers the rest of the failures to meet your claimant commitment, including:

Not attending a work interviewNot signing on when you are supposed toNot providing the evidence that you need to or that the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has asked forNot attending a course that you have been recommended to go to as part of your work preparation.

Low level sanctions will usually be for a fixed period of time, usually seven days plus the time it takes you to correct the failure.

Author: wpadmin

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