Guidance

Jobseeker's Allowance: overview of sanctions rules

An overview of the new sanctions rules that came into force for Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) claimants in October 2012.

Document

Detail

We’ve published this overview to help explain our statistics on Jobseeker’s Allowance sanctions.

New sanctions rules came into force for Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) claimants in October 2012. They broadly align the rules for JSA sanctions with the rules to be introduced for Universal Credit and introduce:

  • 3 categories of sanction – ‘higher’, ‘intermediate’ and ‘lower’ – depending on the nature of the offence
  • different levels of sanction for first, second and third offences
  • changes to the date a sanction starts

Previously, a sanction started from the beginning of the benefit week after the Decision Maker (DM) decided to impose the sanction. However, to ensure that claimants see the consequences of their actions or inactions sooner, the new rules enable DMs to impose sanctions at a time closer to the offence. The new sanction period begins:

  • on the first day of the benefit week in which the offence occurred, if the claimant has not been paid JSA for that week, or
  • on the first day of the benefit week following the date the claimant was last paid JSA

This document gives an overview of the new rules.

Help us improve GOV.UK

Please don't include any personal or financial information, for example your National Insurance or credit card numbers.