Housing Systems: Combating poverty and sustaining tenancies.
Conditionality: Sanctions


What are the different sanction levels?

How Much

How much is deducted?


Why the claimant should challenge a sanction and how.

Good Reason?

What if the claimant has a 'good reason' for doing what they did?

Impact on HCE

What impact does a sanction have on a UC award and the Housing Costs Element?

Hardship Payments

What are they, how much, how do you get one and how are they paid back?

Latest Statistics

In the year up to March 2017 approximately 229,000 decisions were made to impose sanctions on UC claimants (in the same period there were 129,000 decisions to impose sanctions on JSA claimants).

Over the period August 2015 to March 2017 the average number of claimants being sanctioned per month was 7.4% of all UC claimants. This is 3 times the proportion of JSA claimants who were sanctioned in the same period - which was 2.5% per month.

The difference between the two benefits' sanctions rates could be partly due to the JSA sanctions figures not including decisions where the claim was terminated (eg. because as a result of failing to attend an interview - eg to 'sign on', the claimant was found not to be actively seeking work so their benefit award ended). This would not happen in Universal Credit -  for a failure to meet work related requirements, a sanction would be imposed rather than a disallowance, as the UC award also includes money for children and housing costs etc.


Joseph Rowntree Foundation report on claimant's experiences of UC conditionality and sanctions here.

National Audit Office call for DWP to conduct a wide-ranging review here. The NAO points out inconsistencies - "...some Work Programme providers referring twice as many people for sanctions as other providers in the same area" and inefficiencies /waste of public resources - the DWP estimates it spends £30-50 million a year applying sanctions, plus £200 million monitoring the conditions it sets for claimants; the NAO estimates £132 million in sanctions reductions but paid Hardship Payments of £35 million.

Find out more....

Priority of deductions from UC

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