A Universal Credit sanction is a reduction of your benefit payment for a set time as a result of failure to meet the conditions of your Claimant Commitment.
Your Claimant Commitment, sometimes referred to as ‘work-related requirements’, set out what is required from you in order to keep receiving Universal Credit.
If you haven't done one of the activities in your Claimant Commitment, you could be sanctioned.
If you disagree with the decision about your Universal Credit claim, you can ask the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) to change it. You'll need to ask for 'Mandatory Reconsideration' - this means the DWP will look at the decision again.
Almost all sanctions can be successfully challenged which will mean that full benefits are reinstated or refunded.
Don’t be put off if DWP staff do not take your challenge seriously just continue to make your argument. If the Mandatory Reconsideration is not successful then repeat the same argument at the appeal stage.
There are two main reasons why Mandatory Reconsideration challenges succeed:
There are lots of reasons that are considered good cause and none that are good or bad so do not worry if you think your reason is not good enough.
The important thing is to make an argument and say it is good cause.
Think about whether you are at a disadvantage. For example, due to being unwell, having caring responsibilities, being homeless, having been a victim of domestic violence, having language issues or literacy issues, being young and/or having limited experience of the benefit system etc. This can form part or all of your argument.
How to write a letter challenging your universal credit sanction with a sample letter to use in your challenge.