Universal Credit

7. If your payment is stopped or reduced

If you don’t keep to your Claimant Commitment, your Universal Credit could be stopped or reduced (‘sanctioned’).

If you receive Council Tax Reduction (also called ‘Council Tax Support’) and get a sanction, contact your local council immediately. They’ll tell you what to do to continue getting support.

If you get a sanction you can:

Hardship payments

You may be able to get a hardship payment if you get a sanction. You’ll repay it through your Universal Credit payments - they’ll be lower until you pay it back.

A hardship payment is a reduced amount of your Universal Credit.


You can get a hardship payment if you can’t pay for rent, heating, food or hygiene needs for you or your household.

You must be 18 or over.

Every case is assessed individually. You’ll have to show that you’ve tried to:

  • find the money from somewhere else
  • only spend money on essentials

How to claim

Call the Universal Credit helpline.

Universal Credit helpline
Telephone: 0345 600 0723
Textphone: 0345 600 0743
Welsh language: 0345 600 3018
Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm
Find out about call charges