The DWP is continuing to hit universal credit (UC) claimants with a harsh sanctions regime, the latest official figures show.  The vast majority of sanctions are for failing to attend or to take part in a mandatory interview.

The sanctions rate has remained above 7% from August through to November of 2023, the most recent months for which figures are available.

Sanctions were at their highest in January 2017, at 11.83%. 

But from there on they fell almost uninterruptedly through to March 2020, when they had reached a low of 2.51%.

Face-to-face interviews were then suspended due to the pandemic and sanctions fell to almost nothing.

However, with the gradual reintroduction of face-to-face appointments in April 2021the level of sanctions has increased rapidly.  By October 2021 it had already surpassed the pre-pandemic level, reaching 2.69%.

Since April 2022, it has never fallen below 6% and has risen as high as 7.3%.

UC Sanctions rate graph

uc sanctions rates graph

95% of all sanctions are imposed for failing to attend or to take part in a mandatory interview.

Benefits and Work members can download a copy of our 30 page guide to Ways to prevent and overturn ESA and UC sanctions from the ESA and UC guides page.

The full UC sanctions statistics are available here.

Comments

Write comments...
or post as a guest
People in conversation:
Loading comment... The comment will be refreshed after 00:00.
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Lali · 1 months ago
    I have recently cancelled all my ESA payments and signed off UC, I had a recent knee replacement and other severe problems, after the op they wanted me to attend a face to face meeting this was constant even before my op asking me to go face to face. I can't cope with the bullying. 
    I have sent in a complaint but they just don't care ? I would rather be broke than have to deal with these monsters.
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Gilly · 1 months ago
    I know two people who are not claiming what they are entitled to. This is because of their mental health and anxiety they cannot attend face to face meetings. There is zero compassion in the system. They do not seem to care if people live or die.
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Itsallashow · 1 months ago
    I can confirm that one particular DWP that I work with regularly doesn't sanction people for failing to attend meetings, not reporting earnings and failing to engage with them. However, they are one of the highest performing centres in the area!?! Work that one out!!! 
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Lisa1973 · 1 months ago
    I have long stated that I am only alive until I get migrated to UC. I cannot attend in person & do phone calls and the last remaining disability support service that used to help people with benefit applications here closed in 2020. I will be immediately sanctioned with no ability to continue my claim, or inevitably, my life. The DWP & the government seem to have no idea that people like me exist, nor do they care. I guess that us being disappeared is kind of the point.
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      Jack · 1 months ago
      @Lisa1973 I asked for a reasonable adjustment to have it done over the internet and have done so. So they should do it, I think its law as well if you have a health condition.
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      The Dog Mother · 1 months ago
      @Lisa1973 You and I both. I wake up each morning after a very broken night's sleep of worry and think what will I get in the post or via a call today.
      I am sick at the thought of UC and as I am five weeks or so in from returning my wca form for esa ,well,you can guess the dread I feel at the outcome. Of even The phone,f2f or whatever type of assessment I could face.
      How can they constantly get away from being a blight on our lives ,if a neighbour harassed us making our lives hell they'd be taken to task.
      Our own government despise us.
      They think of more and more ways of bringing us down. 
      How does that help our self-esteem never mind encourage us to find work, live fulfilled lives or indeed any life! Because this is not a life at all. 

    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      Suzan · 1 months ago
      @Lisa1973 Hi Lisa,
      Sorry to hear of your plight.  I'm being migrated into the UC, I have help from citizens advice based at my local council.  Dwp paid citizens advice to help us (disabled).  I've yet to go to the two hour meeting.  I will though be getting everything sent to me by the post from UC.  Have you tried citizens advice?? 
      Wishing you the best of luck.

    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      Irene · 1 months ago
      @Lisa1973 💔❤️❤️
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      Sue E · 1 months ago
      @Lisa1973 Sending you love Lisa. I’m getting to a stage where I feel I can’t cope either. I’m going to ask DWP/JC to only contact me by letter, so I don’t get texts or calls, because I can’t cope with the interaction. I’m not on UC. Can you write to them when they say they’re going to transition you to UC and explain your situation? Perhaps send a copy to your MP too, so you have some back-up? Maybe begin to prepare the letter now, so it’s ’ready To go’ when the time comes for UC?
      I do wish you well Lisa ❤️
We use cookies

We use cookies on our website. Some of them are essential for the operation of the site, while others help us to improve this site and the user experience (tracking cookies). You can decide for yourself whether you want to allow cookies or not. Please note that if you reject them, you may not be able to use all the functionalities of the site.