By the third week of the sanction I was only eating once a day !!

Read how benefit sanctions can affect people’s lives

A sanction is a cut or temporary cessation in your benefit if you fail to meet your claimant commitment without good reason. If you do this on numerous occasions, you could face a sanction of up to three years.

Benefits including Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)Universal Credit (UC) and Income Support can be sanctioned.

For example, if you are claiming JSA and you fail to turn up to appointments or fail to apply for or accept a job you can be sanctioned.

However, some people have asserted that sanctions of being handed out cynically to meet targets.

Hungry man

Over 1,500 people had their ESA sanctioned in September 2016 alone. In addition, more than 41,500 disabled people have had their ESA sanctioned since December 2012.

Sanctions can have devastating consequences for those who receive them.

Alison Taylor, Director of Operations at Turn2us, said: “We know from those who seek our help the desperate situation people can be left in, if these essential benefits are cut. A rise in these sanctions is therefore very concerning.”

Benefit sanctions can lead to debt, rent arrears, foodbank use, mental health issues, and destitution.

In some extreme cases, such as that of David Clapson, benefit sanctions can have lethal consequences. The diabetic former soldier was found dead, starved and penniless in his flat.

One man’s experience

A man from West Yorkshire told Reddit about his sanction story:  “I was at the jobcentre at the allotted time; however, my advisor was now based in a different part of the building so when they called my name I didn’t answer because I was waiting in the area they always were previously.

“So even though I was in the building, I was classed as a no show. I attempted an appeal but the 13 week sanction was upheld.

“By the third week of the sanction I was only eating once a day, alternate between porridge and rice for variety.

“I leave my bedsit about 1 am if it’s not raining and head into the city centre to raid cigarette tab ends from pub ashtrays. I do this for two reasons; partly I’m addicted to nicotine, but mostly smoking helps with the hunger pangs.”

If you have been sanctioned

If you have been sanctioned and disagree with the decision, you can challenge the decision by asking for a Mandatory Reconsideration within one month of the decision. See the Gov.UK information on Appeal to the Social Security and Child Support Tribunal

Source: Turn2us

Government launches Funeral Payments consultation

Give your views on the Department for Work and Pensions’ proposed changes to this benefit

Losing a loved one is a distressing time and worrying about the costs of a funeral often adds additional stress.

Funeral Payments (also called Funeral Expenses Payments) are available to people who receive certain income-related benefits to help pay for the funeral of an immediate friend or relative.

The Department for Work and Pensions is proposing to make improvements to Funeral Payments to make it clearer who is eligible and easier for people to claim. It has launched an open consultation to seek views on these changes.


What do the proposals include?

The proposals include:

  • Allowing recipients of a Funeral Expenses Payment to receive contributions from relatives, friends or charities without it being deducted from the payment
  • Extending the claim period from three to six months from the date of the funeral
  • Allowing applicants to submit evidence electronically to speed up the processing of claims and get decisions to claimants sooner.

What are Funeral Payments?

Funeral Payments can help pay for:

  • Burial fees and exclusive rights of burial in a particular plot
  • Medical certification fees needed for cremations, including the cost of the doctor’s certificate
  • Travel to arrange or go to the funeral
  • The cost of moving the body within the UK, if it’s being moved more than 50 miles
  • Death certificates or other documents
  • Up to £700 for funeral expenses, such as funeral director’s fees, flowers or the coffin.

People in receipt of the following benefits may be eligible for a Funeral Payment:

  •  Income Support
  • income-based Jobseekers Allowance
  • income-based Employment Support Allowance
  • Pension Credit
  • Universal Credit
  • Housing Benefit
  • Working Tax Credit which includes a disabled worker or severe disability element
  • Child Tax Credit.

How do I give my views on the Funeral Payments consultation?

All members of the public can respond. The Government would particularly value views from people who have experienced bereavement and those who have accessed Funeral Payments in the past.

For more information, see Gov.UK – Open consultation – Reforms to the Social Fund’s Funeral Expenses Payments scheme

Email to:

Write to:

Fatima Uzzaman
Department for Work and Pensions
6 – 12 Tothill Street

This consultation closes at 11:45pm on 21 August 2017

Source: Turn2us