As the cost of living crisis rages on, the UK’s social safety net has a critical role to play in protecting people from deepening poverty and destitution.

But a concerning trend has emerged: the rate of universal credit claimants experiencing sanctions has risen rapidly since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.

This briefing paper seeks to shine a light on the benefit sanctions regime in universal credit by analysing publicly available data from the Department for Work and Pensions.