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Benefits And Work Survey On Sanctions

March 11, 2015

With many thanks to Benefits And Work.

This is a very short survey – just 7 multiple choice questions and an optional comments box.

In the last week Conservative business minister Nick Boles told charity volunteers that some benefits sanctions were ‘inhuman’ – then changed his mind .

Meanwhile, Despatches revealed that that more than 30 secret reviews carried out following the deaths of benefit claimants called for improvements by the DWP.

We’d like to know what Benefits and Work readers think about sanctions, deaths and whether you can trust the DWP.

This survey is entirely anonymous, we do  not know who you are and we do not collect any information about you. But, please note that if you add a comment at the end we may publish this, so please don’t include any information that you would not be happy to see published.

You can start the survey here

You can see the survey results here

A selection of recent comments from the survey

“I go hungry regularly and can no longer afford to heat my flat. I’m terrified of sanctions and have got very close to the end of my tether countless times. I have been turned down for PIP although my conditions have worsened, mainly caused by the stress of being on benefits. I feel embarrassed to let my family know how bad it is and rarely see friends anymore as I feel socially excluded. It is a daily living hell and looks as if it could get a lot worse.”

“Last election I voted ‘tactically’ for the Lib Dems, normally I would vote Labour. I feel very concerned that if the Tory government get elected that this will be more propaganda against claimants, serious cuts , and marginalisation of the poor and sick. i don’t have much faith in the Labour Party either, feeling that they are the lesser of 2 evils really. I want to vote Green, as I feel that they would be the only party who would care for claimants but am terrified if I do that the Conservatives would get in again. It’s a dilemma! I think people’s wellbeing has significantly decreased under the coalition and think it very likely people have died , many of them, due to not just cuts. It the pejorative way they are viewed, it’s very debilitating.”

“I am very worried about the future for several vulnerable people I know who are literally unable to negotiate the madness of our benefits bureaucracy. One sanctioned man would probably not have survived without being fed and financially supported by his neighbours. He was terrified, lost several stone in weight and started to become demented. It went on for months and he was taken to court and threatened with eviction. It is utterly disgraceful that sanctions include stopping housing benefit payments. Such heartless treatment of vulnerable people is unforgivable.”

“I was sanctioned and it was 14 months before i had a tribunal appeal which i one this affected me on all levels apart from no money it put me in debt with rent and council tax as not on hb as no benefit to be awarded it i got into debt with bills i had no food for me or my son the treatment was disgusting the staff were so rude and unhelpful things must change.”

“I believe this government is trying to kill me and take my home. I’m a disabled insulin dependent diabetic and forced to go without meals in order to pay bedroom tax and council tax. This time last year I was in credit with my landlord by over £600 but from 1/1/2015 I’m now in arrears. This government is inhuman!”

“Jobcentre plus for the past few days have been using a recorded message at contact centres explaining they can only offer a limited service. They also claim to operate digital offices.”

“These are leading questions, aimed at achieving a particular response, based on limited information provided by an interested party. I do not know the full facts of any of the particular issues raised in the questions and will certainly not give a response based on a one-sided argument. I think that UKIP would be the harshest party for benefit claimants, but any change of party in government could cause additional problems as the system is likely to be changed again to fit with their political views.”

“The survey is a bit biased. It starts by reporting on inhuman sanctions, then moves directly to asking if sanctions are inhuman. Of course they’re inhuman but leading the participant toward the answer you want is a bit dodgy.”

“I have begged the DWP to re-assess my wife who is suicidal about her money being stopped, “nothing heard” for a year after numerous letters, wife is on pills now for her mental state, but still nothing.. I struggle to keep her going, we have had no money for a year now for her.. Labour introduced this awful situation, conservative implemented this and now it reminds me of 1932 Germany when all disabled were made to feel parasites in the public eye and were allowed to be removed from society into camps!”

“I had my ESA Health Medical last week and have been a wreck waiting for the decision. I hope to be placed in the Support Group, because of my condition. If not, I don’t think I have the strength or will to put up a fight. I know for a fact that ‘MY LIFE’ depends on whether I am able to cope with harsh and unfair decisions/sanctions.”

“I work with clients with mental health issues and lots have been very distressed when they have fallen foul of the bedroom tax. Also many clients on ESA have been removed from the support group and placed in the WRAG group which has caused them further distress and anxiety/depression.”

“It is a national disgrace that sanctions are causing claimants to commit suicide, also children suffering because parents are sanctioned, and having to rely on food banks. It is about time the opposition condemn this practice, whilst I would rather they won the election, they are too quiet about this very serious issue.”

“I have a physical health condition that is known to be progressively disabling. I already need round-the-clock support. The transition to ESA last year and the fear of losing essential income when “invited” to claim PIP has hit me mentally. In short, I’m twice as ill as I was prior to the “reforms” of the current government.”

“This tory goverment has left me more ill then i have ever been in my life now i have to find £55 a month for a bedroom my partner/carer uses but they still say it is a spare room HOW is this FAIR SYSTEM”

3 Comments leave one →
  1. March 11, 2015 8:45 pm

    Reblogged this on Britain Isn't Eating.

  2. lassy permalink
    March 11, 2015 8:49 pm

    Reblogged this on Will the real reality please stand up!.

  3. March 12, 2015 2:40 pm

    Universal Credit will make sanctions permanent because the reduced benefit of Hardship Payments (difficult to attain as they are now) will become recoverable loans from any future benefit or earned income by direct deductions.

    Universal Credit will deny Pension Credit
    (below the retirement age for now by a few years of age)
    if either partner is below the new retirement age, and so they too will be liable for the sancitons off Universal Credit.

    And the working poor (waged and self employed) will become liable for sanctions under Universal Credit, for not being able to move from part time to full time hours.

    So nil benefits from losses for the disabled and chronic sick, is added by those, able bodied or not, in or out of work getting hit by nil Universal Credit benefit as well as Pension Credit.

    Then the poor, with no other pension provision, get hit by much reduced state pension down to forecasts already for retirement from 2016 of only £55 per week

    See why under my petititon, in my WHY IS THIS IMPORTANT section at:

    My petition includes the poor on low wages may indeed have been out of the welfare state
    from low wages being below the lower entitlement level for automatic National Insurance credits, by salary paid as well as being in the salary sacrifice scheme or zero hour contracts.

    You face nil state pension because the flat rate state pension law from 6 April 2016 raises the minimum to get any state pension from 1 year NI history, to 10 years NI record
    to get any pension at all.

    The way to shut out all this penniless starvation in old age is to sign my petition so that a future Labour government, with more partners than it has in line now, can revoke all this entirely preventable impoverishment.

    Right now the pundits predict the most severe hung parliament, so the Tories are thinking to stay in government even if politicians lose their seats.

    The way to stop this nightmare, is for the poor of all ages, to put their pencil cross against new logos on Thursday 7 May, so as to turn Labour back against welfare and pension reform that is just abolition.

    These new logos are on my little website to help you:

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