Hardship Payments - Employment and Support Allowance Hardship Payments

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.

Employment and Support Allowance Hardship Payments

Only people who would usually get income-related Employment and Support Allowance (i-ESA) can get a Hardship Payment.

You may be able to get hardship payments of i-ESA if your ESA is being paid at a reduced (or nil) rate.

If you are getting contribution-based ESA (c-ESA), you may also be able to make a claim for Hardship Payments in limited circumstances. If you are in this position, you should seek advice.

You can qualify for Hardship Payments of i-ESA if:

  • you, your partner or a child (must usually be getting Child Benefit for the child) for whom you or your partner are responsible would experience hardship if payments were not made; and
    • you have been sanctioned for failing to take part in a work-focused interview or for failing to undertake work-related activity; or
    • you have committed a benefit offence.


Printable version of this guide

Was this page helpful?

Tell us the problem


Thank you

Thank you for your feedback. If you would like to tell us more, please visit our contact us page.