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Advice Column - Universal Credit

Date: 
2nd November 2018

I’ve had my Universal Credit payments reduced for missing an appointment. I don’t think this is fair as I had a good reason for not being able to attend. Now I am struggling to make ends meet. What should I do?

If you think the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has made a mistake in reducing your payments, you can ask for the decision to be reconsidered.

Contact the department as soon as possible setting out why you disagree with the decision. Make sure to include the date of the decision and your personal information, including your National Insurance number.

You can ask for this reconsideration in your Universal Credit online account, using a form on the government website, in writing or over the phone. Your local Citizens Advice can help you put together this information.

If the DWP does not change its decision you can appeal, although this could involve going to a tribunal and may take some time to be heard.

If you’re struggling to make ends meet, you can apply for extra help. Ask the DWP for a hardship payment. This is usually a loan and will be deducted from future Universal Credit payments. You can apply for this payment through the Universal Credit helpline, or by asking at your local Jobcentre Plus office.

You may also be able to apply for financial help from your local council. Speak to your local Citizens Advice to see what help is available to you.