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If a Universal Credit claimant fails to report a change in their circumstances, their payments could halt as a result – this is known as a sanction.
A claimant who receives a sanction may be able to ask for a hardship payment if they’re unable to pay for rent, heating, food or hygiene needs.
The Gov website adds: “You can also ask for a hardship payment if you cannot pay for rent, heating, food or hygiene needs because you got a sanction.
“You need to pay it back through your Universal Credit payments – they will be lower until you pay it back.”