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Universal Credit: Disqualification

Department for Work and Pensions written question – answered on 2nd March 2020.

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Photo of Tommy Sheppard Tommy Sheppard Shadow SNP Leader of the House of Commons

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, for what reasons the sanction rate for claimants of universal credit is higher than the sanction rate for claimants of (a) jobseekers allowance and (b) employment and support allowance.

Photo of Mims Davies Mims Davies The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Work and Pensions

Whilst the same methodology has been used to produce these statistics, the benefits themselves are very different and require interpretation based on the rules of the specific benefit. It is for this reason that the sanction rate in Universal Credit cannot be compared with the sanction rates in other benefits. For example, under Jobseekers Allowance if a claimant fails to attend a Work Coach meeting their claim would be closed after 5 days if no contact is made. Under Universal Credit, the claimants standard allowance is reduced but they continue to receive other elements of their Universal Credit award which may cover childcare and housing amongst other things. This is to ensure that all payments are not terminated.

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