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

More than 125,500 in August 2023 were for failing to attend a previously agreed Jobcentre appointment or interview.

A total of 131,720 were handed out and 95.3 percent of these were for missing a previously arrange appointement – which amounts to just over 125,500.

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

“We are cracking down on those who don’t make any effort to find work, as we use every tool at our disposal to tackle long-term unemployment.”

A total of 6.48 percent of Universal Credit claimants faced a sanction on their payment in August this year.

When a person receives a sanction, they will be told the reason 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 unfairly sanctioned, they can challenge the decision through a process known as manditory reconsideration.

An individual may also be able to resolve a sanction by re-engage with the Jobcentre and attending their next appointment.

A claimant can get a sanction where they fail to comply with their duties as set out in their claimant commitment, such as searching for work or attending appointments with their work coach.

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

The benefit is replacing 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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