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Question about DWP administrative practice where sanctions imposed for a period in which claimant subsequently found to have LCW/LCWRA

Martin Williams
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Welfare rights advisor - CPAG, London

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Total Posts: 777

Joined: 16 June 2010

Hi all,

1. I have a question that people who see more cases than me might be able to answer.

2. Relates to cases where:

a) a claimant has had a (or a few) sanctions on UC; and

b) it is subsequently decided that for the period in which the failures occurred they should have been in a different conditionality group; which

c) means those sanctions were imposed at the wrong rate or for the wrong period or should not have been imposed at all.

3. My question is basically do the DWP in these situations go back and revise the sanction decisions? Do they do this automatically?

4. For example:

a) Claimant sanctioned for failing to do work search in June 2023.

b) In September 2023, it is decided claimant has LCW from January 2023.

c) Accordingly, they were not required to do work search in June 2023 and cannot have been sanctioned.

5. I imagine there must be a lot of people who have had sanctions imposed for failures in periods where it is subsequently decided that the conditionality group they should properly have been in for that period would not allow that sanction at all or would change its amount or duration. So presumably the DWP go and fix this then? Or do they need prodding? Meaning probably loads of people have been left sanctioned when law did not allow it.



Rosie W
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Welfare rights service - Northumberland County Council

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Joined: 9 February 2012

I’ve had a number of these when our Deputies have become appointee for someone on UC. My practice is to go back through the journal each time (and be horrified at the work search requirements imposed on people while the work coach is also telling them they are concerned about their health).

Like everything with UC it is inconsistent. On at least one occasion they revised the sanctions without prompting; on others we have had to ask. To be fair they have revised when asked. It’s more difficult when there are gaps in fit notes.

kat v
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WRAMAS - Bristol

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Joined: 23 June 2016

They aren’t always consistent. I had a client who was found to have LCWRA at appeal and during that period had been sanctioned 7 times. All of these were waiting for an appeal hearing. They immediately lapsed 4 of them and then 3 of them still had to go to appeal.

I do think you’d generally need to challenge them in some way - because UC don’t seem to look back at things unless you tell them to do so. They’ve never backdated anything in UC unless I’ve specifically flagged that a backdate is appropriate (eg, applying disabled child and carers elements, changing LHA rate when PIP awarded, etc.)

[ Edited: 9 Feb 2024 at 11:01 am by kat v ]