Benefit Sanctions briefing: DWP’s Mandatory Reconsiderations have “effectively destroyed” independent Tribunals

Benefit Sanctions Briefing – 18 February 2015: The DWP’s latest release updates the sanctions statistics to the end of September 2014. For the first time it includes the results of mandatory reconsiderations.

Download briefing – view online

Highlight:  “The Mandatory Reconsideration system, introduced on 28 October 2013, has fundamentally changed the whole appeal process, introducing additional steps and a new Jobcentre Plus structure. MR has cut the proportion of JSA sanctions which are challenged by claimants from about one third (33%) to about 20-25%. ESA sanction challenges have returned to below their pre-MR level, at about 45%. The independent element in the system offered by Tribunals has been effectively destroyed, completely in the case of ESA and almost completely for JSA, where only 0.14% of sanction decisions are now being taken to a Tribunal. MR has had no overall impact on the proportion of JSA sanctions overturned, which remains at about 13%. But the proportion of ESA sanctions overturned has fallen from about 35% to about 20%. The most disturbing possibility is that ESA claimants’ medical conditions are rendering them unable to cope effectively with the phone calls made to them by DWP officials at home during the MR process.” [emphasis added]

By Dr David Webster
Honorary Senior Research Fellow
Urban Studies
School of Social and Political Sciences
University of Glasgow

Email: david.webster@glasgow.ac.uk

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DWP Hardship Payment forms/guidance: JSA/ESA and Universal Credit (recoverable loan)

DWP FOI disclosure of forms and guidance: https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/hardship_payment_application_for FOI request 7 August 2014, disclosures 5 September 2014.

Download hardship application forms
JSA/ESA  (pdf) – view pdf online (html)
Universal Credit (pdf) – view pdf online (html)

Guidance
Leaflet: What is a [JSA] hardship payment? Download pdf – view pdf online (html) – source
DWP JSA Hardship Award Guidance Queries and Help: Download (pdf) – view pdf online (html)
Decision Makers Guide:Chapter 35 – Hardship  – Download (pdf) – view pdf online – source

Benefit Sanction Appeal Tips (JSA & ESA)

If you use assistive technology and need a version of any DWP document above in a more accessible format, please email accessible.formats@dwp.gsi.gov.uk. Please tell them what format you need. It will help to you say what assistive technology you use.

 

 

 

29 page briefing on DWP JSA and ESA sanctions stats of 13 Aug 14

Download original (.docx) – View online

Briefing extracts:It was always likely that the Coalition’s intensification of JSA and ESA sanctions would lead to fatalities
Up to 31 March 2014 there had been 280,140 JSA Work Programme job outcomes and 503,220 JSA Work Programme sanctions
The annual number of JSA/ESA sanctions has almost doubled under the Coalitionvia @boycottworkfare

Petition: Hold an inquiry into benefit sanctions that killed my brother

Briefing by Dr David Webster Honorary Senior Research Fellow Urban Studies School of Social and Political Sciences University of Glasgow Email: david.webster@glasgow.ac.uk
Webpage: http://www.gla.ac.uk/schools/socialpolitical/staff/davidwebster/

New briefing on the DWP’s statistics for it’s punitive JSA and ESA sanctions campaign

View briefing online – Original .docx file

“This briefing deals with the statistics released by the DWP on 14 May 2014, which include figures for a further three months, namely October to December 2013, and give revised figures for every earlier month back to April 2000.

Highest numbers and rates of sanctions to date

The punitive campaign by DWP ministers and officials has continued to intensify, so that in spite of the fall in the numbers of JSA and ESA claimants, the numbers of sanctions have risen to new highs”

5 June 2014

Dr David Webster – Honorary Senior Research Fellow – Urban Studies – University of Glasgow http://www.gla.ac.uk/schools/socialpolitical/staff/davidwebster/

Former Jobcentre Plus adviser tells of a “brutal and bullying” culture of “setting claimants up to fail” – “The pressure to sanction customers was constant,” he said. “It led to people being stitched-up on a daily basis.” http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/stitching-up-claimants-part-job-says-3537051

More sanctions imposed on jobseeker’s allowance claimants http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2014/may/14/more-jobseekers-allowance-claimants-subject-benefit-sanctions

Wed Nov 6th 9:30am – A date that will live in infamy; DWP release of ESA and JSA Sanctions

Update:  25th Nov 2013