Benefit sanctions shoot up 50% in six months

The number of benefit sanctions imposed on job seekers has shot up by 50% in the space of six months, Politics.co.uk can reveal.

The number of sanctions imposed on people claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance or Universal Credit rose from 18,994 last July to 33,860 in December, before falling back to the 30,000 mark by March this year.

In the six months to March, the most recent month for which data is available, the number of sanctions had risen by 50%.

“It is a matter of real concern that the number of people on Universal Credit being sanctioned is increasing,” shadow employment minister Margaret Greenwood said.

“This data shows further evidence of the Tory government letting vulnerable groups down, fuelling poverty and even destitution in the UK.

“A recent Public Accounts Committee report suggested that sanctions are being ‘applied inconsistently’ and used as a ‘blunt instrument’.”

Politics.co.uk has combined both published and unpublished data from the Department for Work and Pensions. While figures for the old Jobseeker’s Allowance benefit are routinely published, recent data for the newer Universal Credit system is much harder to come by.

The true sanctions figures are actually likely to be higher, as the Universal Credit data excludes claimants in numerous parts of the country. (also, these figures don’t include sanctions on people with disability  benefits)

read more here: http://www.politics.co.uk/news/2017/09/04/benefit-sanctions-shoot-up-50-in-six-months

 

Advertisements

‘Sorry isn’t good enough’: Government apologises to family of disabled mum-of-nine who took her own life ‘as benefits were stopped’

Jodey Whiting, 42, died after her allowance was stopped when she missed one appointment for a health assessment which she claimed she knew nothing about as she’s been in hospital

The mother of a disabled mum-of-nine who took her own life after her benefits were stopped says “sorry isn’t good enough” after receiving an apology from the government.

Jodey Whiting’s inquest was told she committed suicide after her Employment Support Allowance was stopped for missing one appointment for a ‘health assessment’.

She later claimed that she knew nothing about the appointment as she had been in hospital at the time.

Department for Work and Pensions bosses have now apologised to her family after its staff left Jodey a voicemail – despite having been told of her death.

It has since emerged the decision to stop her benefits – which her family claims was the “trigger” behind her suicide – was overturned after her death.

MirrorOnline previously reported how the family claimed the DWP have ‘blood on their hands’.

read more here: http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/sorry-isnt-good-enough-government-10647512

 

Cruel Tory disability benefit changes strip £6million a year from people with multiple sclerosis

New figures lay bare the scale of cuts to people with the lifelong condition as claimants move from an old welfare system to a new one

Cruel Tory changes to disability benefit have stripped £6million a year from multiple sclerosis sufferers, shock research reveals today.

New figures lay bare the scale of cuts to people with the lifelong condition as claimants move from an old welfare system to a new one. Officials downgraded or denied help to nearly a third of 8,800 MS sufferers who were reassessed for PIP in the three years to October 2016.

The MS Society charity, which obtained the figures from the government, warned the cuts are having a “drastic impact” and need fixing “urgently”. The figures show MS suffers who moved from the old Disability Living Allowance onto a new system, Personal Independence Payments.

These sufferers were in the group receiving the highest payments to cope with reduced mobility. In a second group, known as ‘daily living’, 3,400 people receiving the most help were reassessed of which 800 had support downgraded or denied. The MS Society estimates this cut was worth £4.9million a year in lost benefits for the first group and £1.1million a year for the second.

Spokeswoman Genevieve Edwards said: “These staggering figures show how PIP is failing some of the most vulnerable people with MS who need the highest level of support. It doesn’t make sense that people are losing money they once qualified for, when they are living with a progressive condition that will never improve.

Read more here: http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/politics/cruel-tory-disability-benefit-changes-11082384

 

A mother took her own life after the DWP cut her disabled son’s benefits | The Canary — Britain Isn’t Eating

https://www.thecanary.co/2017/09/01/mother-took-life-dwp-cut-disabled-sons-benefits/

A mother took her own life after the government took away nearly all her disabled son’s benefits and support, a coroner has ruled.

“What have I got to do? Top myself to get help for my son?”

BBC News reported that 73-year-old Valerie Grant of Great Bridgeford, Staffordshire, “walked in front of a train” and died in April 2017. Prior to this, her severely autistic son had lost a job placement as a bin man, was not entitled to support via a day care centre, had been turned down for accommodation, had lost his Disability Living Allowance (DLA) payments, and was refused a Personal Independence Payment (PIP) by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).

Grant had reportedly told mental health workers:

What have I got to do? Top myself to get help for my son?

Coroner Andrew Haigh said of Grant’s death:

There were a number of agencies involved, but nobody took a lead. I do have concerns about the lack of support, but I don’t think there’s any one agency that I can write to to try to remedy this…

The inquest concluded that Grant had taken her own life while suffering from depression. And as the verdict was announced, Grant’s step-son reportedly shouted:

It is just being swept under the carpet. One agency blames another agency and they can get away with it.

 

via A mother took her own life after the DWP cut her disabled son’s benefits | The Canary — Britain Isn’t Eating

Benefits cuts ‘leave single parents £4800 worse off’

The Scottish Government say UK welfare reforms make ‘no economic sense’.

Single parent families could lose more than £4000 a year in benefits cuts after welfare reforms made by the UK Government, a new report for the Scottish Government has found.

In recent years the Conservative government has frozen benefits payment rates and capped the total amount of welfare funding people can receive.

The report estimates recent changes to welfare policies mean an unemployed single parent with three children will be £4080 worse off a year by 2020/21, facing an 18% reduction in their income from £23,385 to £19,205.

Meanwhile, a working couple with two children face an estimated £1540 reduction (6%) in annual income to £24,300 by 2020/21 compared to having had no welfare cuts.

read more here: https://stv.tv/news/politics/1396889-benefit-cuts-leave-single-parents-4800-worse-off/