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
School of Social and Political Sciences
University of Glasgow
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)
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)
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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