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Hardship Payments - What is a Hardship Payment?

Hardship Payments are reduced-rate payments of Jobseeker's Allowance (JSA), Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) and Universal Credit (UC) that are made in limited circumstances, including if you have been sanctioned.

What is a Hardship Payment?

Hardship payments are reduced-rate payments of Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA), Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) and Universal Credit (UC) that are made if you have been sanctioned.

You or your partner or children must be experiencing hardship and in most cases you must show that you or your family will suffer hardship unless benefit is paid. In some cases for JSA, you must be in a ‘vulnerable group’.

If you come under the UC system, you need to claim the Hardship Payment of UC.

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Applies to: England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland 

Age rules: You must be 18 or over. Some 16 and 17 year olds can get Hardship Payments though - see further information in this guide.

Type of benefit: Means tested 

Taxable: 

  • Yes:  Hardship payments of Jobseeker’s Allowance

  • No: Hardship payments of Employment and Support Allowance and Universal Credit are not taxable


Administered by: Jobcentre Plus 
 

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