Hardship Payments - Jobseeker’s 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.

Jobseeker’s Allowance - Hardship Payments

Only people who usually get income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance(i-JSA) can get a Hardship Payment. You won't be able to get a JSA hardship payment if your New Style JSA has been sanctioned, but you might still be able to get a Universal Credit hardship payment.

You may be able to get Hardship Payments of i-JSA if your JSA is being paid at a reduced (or nil) rate.

You can qualify for hardship payments of i-JSA in a number of situations:

  • If you are in a vulnerable group and the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has decided that you (or your partner) do not satisfy the job-seeking conditions.​ You may be in a vulnerable group if you:
    • are pregnant or responsible for a child
    • qualify for a disability premium
    • have a chronic medical condition
    • care for someone (claiming a qualifying disability benefit)
    • are under 21 and have been in local authority care in the last three years.
  • When your JSA is suspended because there is doubt about whether you (or your partner) are meeting job-seeking conditions.
  • When your JSA is reduced because of a sanction.

If your JSA is suspended, you should get advice on whether you'd be better off asking for a hardship payment or switching to Universal Credit.


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