Worried man holding a tablet

Let’s talk about benefits sanctions

It’s not nice, but we have to be aware of the risk of benefits sanctions

If we’re claiming Universal Credit we should be expecting our first Cost-of-Living Payment of 2023. We may even have had it already.

But it’s thought several thousand claimants won’t get the £301 payment at all because they have been hit with benefits sanctions.

If our UC has been cut to zero because of sanctions unfortunately we won’t get that first cash.

It’s what’s called a “nil award” and it could be applied if we break the rules of the ‘claimant commitment’. This is what we signed up to when we first went on to UC.

The government said that the vast majority (97 per cent) of sanctions at the end of last year were for failing to attend a Jobcentre interview.

They added that sanctions can be resolved if the claimant gets in touch and attends their next appointment.

That would mean we could get one of the later Cost-of-Living payments.

If we are sanctioned, we lose between 20 per cent and 100 per cent of our standard allowance of UC.

If we claim UC as a couple and only one of us is sanctioned, the amount we lose will not be more than 50 per cent.

There’s more info on sanctions on the Quids in! website.

If we didn’t get the £301 payment but were expecting it, there could be other reasons for a “nil award”. For example, our earnings could have been too high in the qualifying period or we may have accrued more than the £16,000 savings limit through a windfall like an inheritance.

Image: Alena Darmel / Pexels

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.