Hardship payments

The rules for hardship payments are set out in the Universal Credit Regulations 2013 (SI.No.376/2013) and the Social Security (Overpayments and Recovery) Regulations 2013 (SI.No.384/2013).

NB: See below for equivalent legislation in Northern Ireland.

Conditions for hardship payments

Regulation 116 of SI.No.376/2013

Sets out the conditions in which a hardship payment can be made.

Period of hardship payments

Regulation 117 of SI.No.376/2013

Sets out how long a hardship payment is paid for.

Amount of hardship payments

Regulation 118 of SI.No.376/2013

Sets out the formula for calculating the amount of the hardship payment.

Recoverability of hardship payments

Regulation 11 of SI.No.384/2013

Sets out the maximum amounts for recovery of hardship payments.

Regulation 119 of SI.No.376/2013

Sets out when a hardship payment may not be recovered.

In Northern Ireland, SR.No.216/2016 makes provisions that are largely equivalent to that in Great Britain.

Further explanation of the legislation is set out in guidance. Please note, however, guidance is not binding and cannot override the legislation.

Advice for decision making

Chapter L1

Sets out the conditions for hardship, what criteria are used to decide if the claimant is in hardship, when the hardship period starts and ends, the amount and frequency of hardship payments, and how and when they are recovered.

DWP guidance from parliament.uk

Recoverable hardship payments

​Sets out the conditions for hardship payments, when to apply, how much is paid and how they are recovered.

DWP guidance from gov.uk

Asking the DWP to review previous refusal to waive recoverable hardship payment repayments

​Sets out the scheme that was open for applications until 19 June 2023 to ask the DWP to review decisions refusing previous requests to waive recoverable hardship payment repayments made between 1 January 2014 and 11 January 2021.

Case law​ provides further interpretation of the legislation and establishes legal precedent.

We’re not aware of any case law relating to this issue.