Sanctions

Don’t get caught out

When you’re awarded Universal Credit, you must sign a claimant commitment to say that you agree to find work or find better paid work. If you do not keep to the terms of the claimant commitment, your benefit may be sanctioned. This means it can be reduced or stopped.

How to challenge a sanction

If you’re sanctioned and believe that you had a good reason for not being able to meet the work-related requirements, you should ask for a mandatory reconsideration. A reconsideration means a Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) decision maker will look at the decision again to see if it is correct.

If the outcome of the reconsideration is successful the decision maker can revise the decision and you’ll be paid any backdated money you’re owed.

This means you’ll be paid any benefit you’re owed from the date when it was stopped.

If you need help to challenge a sanction decision you can contact your local authority and ask for the Welfare Benefits Team, get independent advice from organisations such as Citizens Advice, or contact OVH and we can make an appointment for you to discuss the issue with a member of our Financial Inclusion Team.

More help

Sanction information: citizensadvice.org.uk/benefits/universal-credit/sanctions/check-sanction/

To make an appeal, or for general benefit advice, contact our financial inclusion team on 0300 365 1111 or for more information see here:  gov.uk/universal-credit/appeal-decision.