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Universal credit sanction

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My son has recently had to start claiming universal credit following losing his job. He last claimed this over 2 years ago. His first payment was due a week ago but he’s been sanctioned. Upon speaking to his work coach he’s been told it’s because he missed an appointment in May 2018. He missed the appointment because he had Started a job! I think his only error was not writing that he had started a job in his journal because he didn’t think he needed to update it once he was working They were aware he’d started work as they took all
the money he’d had as an advance from his 2nd salary payment. He’s outside the time of being able to appeal the sanction as you have to appeal in the month they make it - but as it was over 2 years ago can they seriously take money from this period. His work coach can’t remove it as she didn’t apply it and it seems she doesn’t know how to get it removed. Anyone else experienced this? 

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  • edited 31 July at 1:23PM
    calcotticalcotti Forumite
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    edited 31 July at 1:23PM
    I'm sure that is wrong and that sanctions have an expiry date but it's not an area I am familiar with. Have they told him how long the sanction is shown as applying for?
    It's the sort of thing that may be worth contacting your MP about.

    Even if he didn't tell them he was in work they will have known because earnings were reported through RTI. As soon as he was in work he would be in the 'no work related requirements group' assuming he was earning enough and no further sanctions could be applied for repeated failure. I would have thought failure to attend an appointment, assuming it was a first 'offence' would only result in a low level sanction of 7 days. I don't see how it can still be sitting there after 2 years. For that to be the case the sanction would need to have been the very highest level of sanction of 1095 days.

    Information I post is for England unless otherwise stated. Some rules may be different in other parts of UK.
  • mummamia42mummamia42 Forumite
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    the work Coach said his next payment should be ok but she didn’t seem very sure of what she was doing. She said sanctions can apply for up to 2 years later but this is outside of even that period. He was never sanctioned whilst he was on it before. It made him
    very mentally ill though Because he had a whole lot of trouble getting his first payment as they offset earnings a month behind so he went 10 weeks without money the last time and was sent fines for prescriptions because he’d ticked the wrong box. The dr had to sign him off with anxiety. Can’t deal with it all happening again.   I wrote to my MP Then. She was useless. 
  • venisonvenison Forumite
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    If you have a "welfare rights" in your area it might be worth a call to them.
    Boycott the right wing press !
  • edited 1 August at 11:44AM
    TheShapeTheShape Forumite
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    edited 1 August at 11:44AM
    mummamia42 said:
    His work coach can’t remove it as she didn’t apply it and it seems she doesn’t know how to get it removed. Anyone else experienced this? 
    I can't see any reason why the Work Coach cannot remove the sanction.  More likely that they are unsure either of the process for ending a sanction or are unaware that a sanction can and must be ended in circumstances other than 'compliance' with the original failure condition.

    This has definitely been experienced by others.  Claim closure actions which included checking for and ending open ended sanctions are routinely not completed.

    If the son received a sanction for Failing to Attend any sanction applied would comprise of an open ended period plus a fixed period of 7, 14 or 28 days.  The fixed period should have been ended either when he complied, when he moved from the Intensive Work Group to either the Light Touch or Working Enough regimes, or upon claim termination.

    This can be resolved by someone ending the open ended sanction period from the correct date.  The system will then either calculate the correct payment for this claim or a manual calculation can be made to correct what would now be an underpayment on this claim.


  • TheShapeTheShape Forumite
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    calcotti said:
    I don't see how it can still be sitting there after 2 years. For that to be the case the sanction would need to have been the very highest level of sanction of 1095 days.

    It's almost certainly sitting there because no one ended the open ended period of the sanction.  Most likely this occurred because the additional claim closure actions were not completed.

    I must add though that whilst I've seen this situation where a reclaim has been made I'm not sure if this situation will still occur when a 'New Claim' is made.

    It's certainly an outside possibility that someone can start work but never change regime if their income wasn't reported through RTI.  This might happen if an employer doesn't report earnings or the claimant started self-employment.  Perhaps the original claim was never closed?  But then why would the previous advance have been reclaimed from the son's salary?
  • hucksterhuckster Forumite
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    If you Son sends a journal note to  the Case Manager (payment query) and one to the Work Coach, just explaining the issue and asking this to be reviewed as a complaint if necessary, then hopefully it should be resolved.  There was  I believe a Covid-19 Sanction process to deal with the Sanctions that were left over from previous claim periods.  If your Son was working at the time of the failure to attend and they can see from the HMRC RTI information that earnings were being reported, then they should take this into account 

    On the previous claim period your Son failed to attend an appointment, did not report a change of circumstances properly to say he was working and therefore a low level sanction was set running.  As this sanction was not ended due to your Son being back in compliance with his claimant commitment, when he made a reclaim, a sanction was still remaining.  The HMRC RTI earnings information being received, is not an alternative to reporting the change to being back in work.  However, if your Son can be shown to have been working and earnings were above a threshold amount to change conditionality of the claim, this should be taken into account.


    The comments I post are personal opinion. Always refer to official information sources before relying on internet forums. If you have a problem with any organisation, enter into their official complaints process at the earliest opportunity, as sometimes complaints have to be started within a certain time frame.
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