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Universal Credit sanctions

If you are getting Universal Credit, your benefit may at some point be sanctioned

If you do not keep to the terms of your Claimant Commitment, your Universal Credit payments may be reduced or stopped. These are called "sanctions".

Challenging a sanction decision

You can challenge the decision to sanction your payments by requesting a mandatory reconsideration. If the decision is not changed in your favour, you can then appeal against the decision.

Please note - you must keep to the conditions of your Claimant Commitment during a sanction period. If you do not, you may incur a further sanction. Sanctions under the Universal Credit system are different to sanctions under Jobseekers Allowance (JSA) in that they are consecutive rather than concurrent.  For example, any additional sanctions under Universal Credit are added to the end of a current sanction as opposed to starting on the day the sanction decision was made.

Hardship payments

If your Universal Credit is subject to sanction, you may be able to get Hardship Payments. These are payable at a reduced amount. To claim a Hardship Payment, please call the Universal Credit Helpline:

  • Telephone: 0800 328 5644
  • Textphone: 0800 328 1344
  • Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm

Please note that Hardship Payments under Universal Credit must be paid back meaning that future Universal Credit payments will be reduced.  

Crisis Grants

In some cases you may be able to apply for a Crisis Grant from the Scottish Welfare Fund if your Universal Credit is sanctioned.

Making a complaint

If you are not happy about the service you have received from Universal Credit including how you have been treated, mistakes that have been made, unreasonable delays or not being kept informed you can complain online.

Last modified on 19 November 2018

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