The shocking fact was revealed by Alison Garnham, Chief Executive of the Child Poverty Action Group who was giving evidence to Work and Pensions Committee’s sanction enquiry this morning. Graham ended her evidence by pointing out a chilling extract from the DWP Decision Maker’s guidelines referring to whether a claimant who has had their benefit stopped should be entitled to a meagre Hardship Payment for the first two weeks of their sanction.
According to the rules, it would be “usual for a normal healthy adult to suffer some deterioration in their health” if they are left with no money to buy food or pay for essential items for two weeks. A Hardship Payment can therefore only be awarded for this period if Jobcentre staff decide that due to an existing medical condition a sanction will cause a greater decline in health than it would a normal healthy adult.
As Boycott Workfare point out today, sometimes that deterioration in health can be fatal. And all for the crime of missing a meeting with the Jobcentre.
The DWP’s decision maker’s guide can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/decision-makers-guide-staff-guide
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