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 16 of SI.No.376/2013

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

Period of hardship payments

Regulation 17 of SI.No.376/2013

Sets out how long a hardship payment is paid for.

Amount of hardship payments

Regulation 18 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 19 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.

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

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