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125,500 Universal Credit sanctions imposed in one month for claimants missing appointments | Personal Finance | Finance


More than 125,500 Universal Credit sanctions in August 2023 were for failure to attend a previously agreed appointment or interview.

A total of 131,720 were awarded and 95.3 per cent of these were for requesting a previously arranged appointment – that’s just over 125,500.

Work and Pensions Secretary Mel Stride said: “Fairness is at the heart of our social welfare system. But thousands of people are undermining it, failing to look for work and not finding work appointments.

“We are tackling those who make no effort to find work, as we use every tool at our disposal to tackle long-term unemployment.”

6.48 per cent of Universal Credit claimants faced a payment sanction in August this year.

When a person receives a sanction, they will be told why and how long the sanction will last.

The sanction is usually imposed from the next payment and may affect a series of future payments that a person receives.

If a claimant thinks they have been sanctioned unfairly, they can challenge the decision through a process called a mandatory reconsideration.

A person may be able to resolve a sanction by re-engaging with the Employment Center and attending their next appointment.

A claimant can receive a sanction if they fail to fulfill their obligations as set out in their claimant undertaking, such as looking for work or attending appointments with their work coach.

Universal Credit is gradually replacing some legacy benefits, with the new benefit being rolled out in different parts of the country.

The benefit replaces these six benefits:

  • Child Tax Credit
  • Housing Benefit
  • Income Support
  • Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
  • Working Tax Credit.

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