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More Than 5000 ESA Claimants Sanctioned For At Least 6 Months

August 21, 2017

More than 5,000 sick and disabled people have had their benefits sanctioned for at least 6 months, new figures show.

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has revealed the extent of punishments used against people on disability benefit Employment and Support Allowance.

ESA is slowly replacing the ageing Incapacity Benefit and is now paid to 2.4million people.

Between December 2012 and December 2016, 71,543 ESA claimants have been sanctioned – which normally involves stopping their benefits.

Just over half of those claimants (40,288) had their benefits sanctioned for less than four weeks and the average length of a sanction was 28 days.

But 5,739 suffered a sanction for 27 weeks or more.

Another 6,579 claimants were sanctioned for between 14 and 26 weeks, statistics published yesterday show.

Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary Debbie Abrahams said: “It is abhorrent to see the Tories sanction thousands of sick and disabled people for up to six months, depriving them of much needed financial support and causing them further stress.

“The figures confirm that disabled people are not receiving the proper support from Jobcentres to navigate the complex social security system.”

Sanctions are only made against ESA claimants deemed fit for “work-related activity”, not those in the more serious support group, a DWP official said.

ESA sanctions are made for a fixed period of one, two or four weeks.

But they are open-ended and carry on indefinitely if people are still unable or refuse to take part in ‘work-related activity’.

DWP officials insist this means no one will be sanctioned for six months if they play by the rules.

But campaigners argue assessments that deem people fit for work-related activity in the first place are flawed.

The vast majority of ESA sanctions – more than 90% since December 2015 – have been a punishment for people refusing to take part in that activity.

Meanwhile the rate paid to the work-related activity group has axed and made the same as Jobseekers’ Allowance – a cut of £30 a week.

Yesterday’s figures showed the number of people on Jobseekers’ Allowance or ESA being sanctioned is falling.

However the number of sanctions for people on Universal Credit, the all-in-one system that’s slowly being claimed by more and more people as it replaces the old benefits – hit an all-time monthly high of 9,119 in December 2016.

More than 100,000 Universal Credit claimants have now been sanctioned since August 2015, 2,313 of them for six months or more.

A DWP spokesman said: “Only a very small proportion of people on ESA are sanctioned every month – just 0.6%.

“ESA sanctions are designed to encourage people to fulfil their requirements, so they remain in place until someone re-engages with their work coach or employment support.

“It’s only fair to ask claimants to do their part and there is a well-established system of payments available for people who need support to meet their immediate and most essential needs.”

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. jeffrey davies permalink
    August 21, 2017 8:11 am

    working well all undercover hay

  2. August 21, 2017 10:55 am

    In 2012 DWP hate criminal abusers spent 3 MONTH trying to starve me to death (no money at all) after their ATOS Criminal Quack lied about me ‘not attending’ their BS assessment.
    (Criminals *hate* being recorded).

    And, right now, the same (*still* not in prison yet) criminal filth have spent the last 4 weeks trying to starve me to death.

    >”Sanctions are only made against ESA claimants deemed fit for “work-related
    >activity”, not those in the more serious support group, a DWP official said.

    Lying criminal filth. I’m in their BS ‘Support Group’.

    >Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary Debbie Abrahams said:
    >“It is abhorrent to see the Tories sanction thousands of sick and
    >disabled people for up to six months, depriving them of much
    >needed financial support and causing them further stress.

    What a total ***king blind-eye turning (ATOS Loving) hypocrite –

    Perverting The Course of Justice –
    http://www.cps.gov.uk/legal/p_to_r/public_justice_offences_incorporating_the_charging_standard/

    Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 – Witness Intimidation –
    http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1994/33/section/51

    Fraud Act 2006 –
    http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2006/35/contents

    Misconduct in Public Office –
    http://www.cps.gov.uk/legal/l_to_o/misconduct_in_public_office/

    Serious Crime Act 2007 – Part 2 – Encouraging or Assisting Crime –
    http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2007/27/part/2

    Accessories and Abettors Act 1861 –
    http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/Vict/24-25/94/crossheading/as-to-abettors-in-misdemeanors

    Criminal Attempts Act 1981 –
    http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1981/47/contents

    Homicide: Murder and Manslaughter –
    http://www.cps.gov.uk/legal/h_to_k/homicide_murder_and_manslaughter/

    Disability Hate Crime – Criminal Justice Act 2003 (section 146) –
    Increase in sentences for aggravation related to disability –
    http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2003/44/section/146

  3. August 21, 2017 11:30 am

    Reblogged this on sdbast.

  4. September 1, 2017 9:46 am

    Reblogged this on campertess.

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